Permanent Water Conservation Measures

Provided below is a list of the Water Conservation Measures currently in place. These provide guidance on garden and lawn watering, pool filling, cleaning with water and all other applicable uses. Please select each relevant heading to expand for guidelines or alternatively select show all to expand the entire list.

The Measures currently in place apply in the ACT and Queanbeyan and are mandatory and enforceable. Anyone found in breach of the measures may be liable for fines starting at $200 for an individual or $1,000 for a corporation.

The Measures apply to ACTEW Water's potable water ('drinking' or 'tap' water). Non-potable sources are not restricted in the table below. In general, no variations to the exemptions set out below will be permitted unless customers can demonstrate serious detriment from the application of the Scheme of Water Conservation Measures or a particular stage of restrictions. ACTEW Water reserves the right to vary or revoke exemptions at any time.

For further information or advice please contact ACTEW Water on 6248 3111.

Translations - To speak to someone in a language other than English please telephone the Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS) 13 14 50.

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  • Private gardens and lawns

    Permanent water conservation measures private gardens 

    During winter (1 June to 31 August inclusive)

    Sprinklers and other irrigation systems, including drip irrigation, a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, a bucket or a watering can may be used to water lawns and plants at any time.

    At all times lawns and plants may only be watered without causing pooling or runoff.

    .......................................................................................................................................................

    During spring, summer and autumn (1 September to 31 May inclusive)

    Sprinklers and other irrigation systems, including drip irrigation, may only be used to water lawns and plants after 6pm and before 9am on any day.

    A hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, a bucket or a watering can may be used to water lawns and plants at any time. 

    At all times lawns and plants may only be watered without causing pooling or runoff.

  • Public sports amenities, public parks and gardens, public open spaces

     Permanent water conservation measures public sports amenities A hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, a bucket or a watering can may be used to water lawns and plants at any time. 

    For facilities existing at the time water conservation measures come into force:

    Lawns and plants must not be watered using sprinklers or other irrigation systems between 9am and 6pm.

    Sprinklers or other irrigation systems must not be used at other times, unless:
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    a) a representative of the occupier of the premises completes and lodges with ACTEW an exemption application and a water efficiency management plan within 30 days of water conservation measures coming into force; and
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    b) ACTEW has not rejected the exemption application or water efficiency management plan; and
    ....................................................................................................................................................... 

    c) if the exemption application and water efficiency management plan are approved by ACTEW, the occupier complies with the terms of the exemption and approved water efficiency management plan.
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    For facilities established after water conservation measures come into force, or where an existing facility lodges an exemption application and water efficiency management plan more than 30 days after water conservation measures come into force:

    Lawns and plants must not be watered using sprinklers or other irrigation systems without written exemption.

    An exemption will only be granted, permitting lawns and plants to be watered before 9am and after 6pm on any day using sprinklers or other irrigation systems, provided that:
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    a) a representative of the occupier of the premises has completed and lodged a water efficiency management plan with ACTEW;
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    b) ACTEW has approved the water efficiency management plan; and
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    c) the occupier complies with the terms of the exemption and approved water efficiency management plan.
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    At all times lawns and plants may only be watered without causing pooling or runoff.

  • Commercial nursery, commercial market garden and commercial turf-growing businesses

     Permanent water conservation measures commercial nursery

     Wherever practicable non-potable water should be used.

    Plants, turf or seed may be watered at any time using a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, a bucket or a watering can.

    For businesses existing at the time water conservation measures come into force:

    Plants, turf or seed must not be watered using sprinklers or other irrigations systems between 11am and 4pm.

    Plants, turf or seed must not be watered using sprinklers or other irrigation systems at other times, unless:
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    a) a representative of the occupier of the premises completes and lodges with ACTEW Water an exemption application and a water efficiency management plan within 30 days of water conservation measures coming into force; and
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    b) ACTEW Water has not rejected the exemption application or water efficiency management plan; and
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    c) if the exemption application and water efficiency plan are approved by ACTEW Water, the occupier complies with the terms of the exemption and approved water efficiency management plan.
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    For businesses established after water conservation measures come into force, or where an existing business lodges an exemption application and water efficiency management plan more than 30 days after water conservation measures come into force:

    Plants must not be watered using sprinklers or other irrigations systems without written exemption.

    An exemption will be granted, permitting plants to be watered before 11am and after 4pm on any day, provided that:
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    a) a representative of the occupier of the premises has completed and lodged a water efficiency management plan with ACTEW Water;
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    b) ACTEW Water has approved the water efficiency management plan; and
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    c) if the water efficiency plan is approved by ACTEW Water, the occupier complies with the terms of the exemption and approved water efficiency management plan.
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    At all times plants, turf or seed may only be watered without causing pooling or runoff.

  • Vehicles

     Permanent water conservation measures vehicles

    If not washed at a commercial vehicle wash, a business that services, details or repairs vehicles or a vehicle dealership, any vehicle should be washed on a lawn or other porous surface wherever practicable and then may only be washed by using:

    • a bucket or watering can;
    • a high-pressure low-volume cleaner; or
    • a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle. 

    A commercial vehicle wash, a business that services, details or repairs vehicles or a vehicle dealership may wash vehicles provided that:
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    a) the occupier complies with the "ACTEW requirements for commercial vehicle washing" at Appendix 1; and
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    b) if a commercial fixed vehicle wash or a commercial fixed vehicle detailing business, the operator uses its best endeavours to comply with the applicable best practice water usage targets.
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    Boat motors may be flushed or rinsed after use.

  • Paved areas

     Permanent water conservation measures paved areas

    A bucket and mop or a high-pressure low-volume cleaner may be used to clean paved areas at any time.

    Otherwise, water must not be used to clean paved areas unless cleaning is necessary as a result of accident, fire, health hazard or other emergency. In these circumstances the most water-efficient method of cleaning reasonably available should be adopted.

    Note: All applicable laws must be complied with when discharging substances into the stormwater system. 

  • Windows, buildings and building gutters

     Permanent water conservation measures windows, buildings

    Building gutters may be cleaned at any time by any means.

    Windows and other external parts of buildings may be washed at any time, but only by using a bucket and mop/brush, squeegee or a high-pressure low-volume cleaner.

    Otherwise, water must not be used to wash building exteriors unless cleaning is necessary as a result of accident, fire, health hazard or other emergency. In these circumstances the most water-efficient method of cleaning reasonably available should be adopted.

    Note: All applicable laws must be complied with when discharging substances into the stormwater system.

  • Private ponds and fountains

     Permanent water conservation measures private ponds

    Private ponds and fountains may only be filled or topped up using a bucket, a watering can or a handheld hose fitted with a trigger nozzle.

    There is no restriction on the operation of fountains that recirculate water from the pond or reservoir in which they are installed. Other fountains may not be operated. 

  • Public ponds and fountains

    Permanent water conservation measures public ponds 

    Ponds may only be filled or topped up if:
    ...............................................................................................................................

    a) a representative of the occupier of the premises where the pond or fountain is located has lodged an exemption application with ACTEW Water;
    ...............................................................................................................................

    b) ACTEW Water has granted the exemption; and
    ...............................................................................................................................

    c) water is used in accordance with the exemption.
    ...............................................................................................................................

    There is no restriction on the operation of fountains that recirculate water from the pond or reservoir in which they are installed. Other fountains may not be operated.
  • Private swimming pools and spas

    Permanent water conservation measures private swimming pools 

    Emptying and refilling existing pools, and filling new pools and spas

    Pools and spas with a capacity of 3,000 litres or more must not be either emptied, refilled, or filled for the first time, unless:

    .......................................................................................................................................................

    a) the occupier of the premises has lodged a water offset plan (pool exemption) with ACTEW Water;
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    b) ACTEW Water has approved the water offset plan (pool exemption);
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    c) the occupier of the premises complies with the approved water offset plan (pool exemption); and
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    d) the pool or spa is fitted with a cover (that covers at least 80 percent of the surface area of the water) when the pool or spa is not in use.
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    Pools and spas with a capacity less than 3,000 litres may only be refilled, or filled for the first time, using a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, a bucket or a watering can.

    Topping up pools and spas

    Pools and spas with a capacity of 3,000 litres or more may only be topped up using a bucket, a watering can or a handheld hose fitted with a trigger nozzle and only if:
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    a) the topping up is done before 9am or after 6pm on any day; and
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    b) the pool or spa is fitted with a cover (that covers at least 80 percent of the surface area of the water) when the pool or spa is not in use.
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    Pools and spas with a capacity less than 3,000 litres may only be topped up using a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, a bucket or watering can.

  • Public swimming pools and spas

     Permanent water conservation measures public swimming pools

    Public swimming pools and spas may not be filled or topped up unless:
    ...............................................................................................................................

    a) a representative of the occupier of the premises where the pool or spa is located has lodged a water efficiency management plan with ACTEW Water;
    ...............................................................................................................................

    b) ACTEW Water has approved the water efficiency management plan; and
    ...............................................................................................................................

    c) the occupier complies with the approved water efficiency management plan.

  • Water storage tanks, dams and lakes

    Permanent water conservation measures water storage tanks 

    Unless the property at which a water storage facility is located is not connected to ACTEW Water potable water supply system, a water storage tank, dam or lake may only be filled or topped up if:
    ...............................................................................................................................

    a) the owner or occupier of the premises has lodged an exemption application with ACTEW Water;
    ...............................................................................................................................

    b) ACTEW Water has granted the exemption; and
    ...............................................................................................................................

    c) water is used in accordance with the exemption. 

  • Construction and related activities

     Permanent water conservation measures construction

    Wherever practicable non-potable water should be used.

    In greenfields sites, water can be used for dust or pollutant suppression or earth compaction only:

    .......................................................................................................................................................

    a) by means of a hose fitted with a flow cut-off device or a vehicle fitted with sprinklers;
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    b) if the occupier of the premises has lodged an exemption application with ACTEW Water;
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    c) if ACTEW Water has granted the exemption; and
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    d) if water is used in accordance with the exemption.
    .......................................................................................................................................................

    In all other cases, water may be used for building and construction activities only where alternative water sources are not reasonably available or suitable (provided that water may not be used at any time to generate an exposed aggregate finish). Unless impractical, such water may only be used by means of a hose fitted with a flow cut-off device.