Victoria Minister for Water Peter Walsh
Melbourne Back To Stage 1 Water Restrictions
Victor P Taffa
Melburnians will return to Stage 1 water restrictions tomorrow, giving households greater flexibility and choice in how they use water.
Water Minister Peter Walsh said good winter and spring rains meant households would be able to water their lawns with a trigger nozzle for the first time since 2006.
“We have considered a wide range of factors including dam levels, forecast demand and the weather outlook and we believe it is prudent to ease water restrictions slowly.” Mr. Walsh said.
“Melburnians have shown themselves to be waterwise, and with residential water use at a record low, consumption averaged just 146 litres per person per day over 2010-11.”
“But with the Thomson just over half full and the seasonal outlook predicting warmer temperatures and only a 35 % to 45 % chance of exceeding median rainfall over summer, we have decided to remain on alert.
“Delays to the construction of the desalination plant also mean we need to be sensible with our water use.” Mr. Walsh said.
Under Stage 1 water restrictions, lawns can be watered during set days and times and Melbourne’s fountains and water features can flow again. Car washing at home using a hand held hose with a trigger nozzle is also permitted.
Mr. Walsh said the Victorian Coalition Government had also adopted the new water restrictions regime and permanent water savings rules proposed by the metropolitan water retailers.
“In March I asked the water retailers to put forward clear and consistent guidelines around drought response and permanent water savings plans.” Mr. Walsh said.
“Following extensive community consultation, I have adopted the recommendations to ensure there is consistency across the state and watering days and times and restrictions for the use of water systems are easier to understand.”
The decision to move to Stage 1 water restrictions was made on the basis of the new Water Outlook which will be published on Thursday.
The outlook considers not just dam levels, but also forecast weather, catchment conditions, trends in demand and the performance of the water supply system and water efficiency programs.
Under Stage 1 water restrictions, Victorians may:
- Water residential or commercial gardens or lawns using a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle at any time, on any day;
- Water residential and commercial gardens and lawns with a watering system (manual, automatic, spray or dripper) only on alternate days between 6 am and 10 am and 6 pm and 10 pm;
- Operate fountains and water features that recirculate water;
- Wash a vehicle at home using a high pressure cleaning unit or a hand held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle at any time, any day of the week;
- Top up new pools or spas of up to 2,000 litres using a hand held hose or automatic water top up device;
- Fill new pools or spas of up to 2,000 litres using a hand held hose or automatic water top up device. New or existing pools greater than 2,000 litres can only be filled in accordance with a water use plan.