View Full Version : SYD - Water Restrictions
January 11th, 2004, 08:38 PM
The restrictions could get worse if we don't get decent rain anytime soon.
From The Sydney Morning Herald (smh.com.au)
Hold that hose - things could get worse
By Stephanie Peatling
January 12, 2004
Sydney's water restrictions could become even tougher if the hot, dry conditions continue.
Options include only allowing these tasks to be done on alternate days or overnight, when evaporation is lower, according to the State Government.
More severe restrictions are already in place in Melbourne and Canberra, where water storage levels are lower than in Sydney.
Sydney can expect to remain on its present course of hand-watering the garden, washing the car with a bucket, and being banned from hosing hard surfaces such as driveways, for months to come.
More stringent action would only be taken if Sydney's dams dropped to about 45 per cent of capacity.
At the moment the dams are at 56 per cent capacity, 0.6 per cent less than last week.
A spokesman for the Utilities Minister, Frank Sartor, said it would take 22 weeks of no rain for the dams to drop to 45 per cent full.
Last week's hot weather prompted Sydney to increase its water use, but the city still maintained the target reduction set by the State Government.
Water consumption was still down by 7 per cent last week on its pre-restriction average.
The previous week it was down 15 per cent.
Mandatory water restrictions began on October 1.
The restrictions will be lifted once the dams reach 70 per cent but it has been nearly two years since they were at that level.
February 22nd, 2004, 08:53 PM
According to Sartor, were just weeks away from having even tougher restrictions in place. Even though we have been saving water, the dams are still shrinking. I think they should be tighter too as our restrictions compared to other cities are too flexible.
From The Sydney Morning Herald (smh.com.au)
Permission to swim, please
By Joseph Kerr
February 23, 2004
Sydney could be heading for tougher water restrictions aimed at pool owners in particular as the city's water supply shrinks towards 45 per cent of capacity.
Home owners could soon be required to apply for permission to fill or re-fill their pools if the Utilities Minister, Frank Sartor, considers further restrictions are warranted.
Restrictions were imposed across Sydney, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains on October 1. While 30 billion litres of water have already been saved, a Sartor spokesman says the minister is looking at what more can be done.
On Friday Sydney's water supply was only 52.7 per cent of capacity.
Public response to the restrictions had been spectacular, the spokesman said, and Mr Sartor did not want to punish people with further cuts before the trigger point of 45 per cent capacity was reached.
But he invited people to suggest further restrictions, with ideas to be canvassed including restrictions on garden watering times, watering gardens on alternate days according to whether street numbers were odd or even, or limiting watering to certain days of the week.
A small but symbolic restriction could be put on use of water in public fountains, he said.
The spokesman said Mr Sartor would look at the rules in Melbourne, where written permission is needed to fill pools of greater than 2000 litres capacity.
Topping up of previously filled pools is allowed with hand-held hoses.
Sydney's heatwave should ease this week after reaching a February record of 45C in Penrith on Saturday. Showers are also forecast over the next few days. However, cooler weather is forecast for this week.
February 25th, 2004, 11:22 AM
Well i know where i am (Port Macquarie) we got like 150mm of rain over last night & today, and is set to coninue for 3 or 4 days.
Hopefully that will replenish a bit...
February 27th, 2004, 09:40 PM
There was a small decline in dam levels despite Warragamba receiving 60mm of rain, falling by 0.2 % to 51 % of capacity. The average capacity of Dams is 52.1 % down just 0.1 %
April 13th, 2004, 10:00 PM
We're about to enter stage two restrictions.
From The Sydney Morning Herald (smh.com.au)
Tougher water restrictions in the pipeline
By Sean Nicholls
April 14, 2004
Sydneysiders would have to pay more for water, but use even less, under tough measures the State Government has flagged as storage levels approach critical lows.
The changes would extend current restrictions to a ban on the watering of lawns and gardens on all but three days of the week. On those days, watering would be allowed before 9am and after 5pm.
The Government is also considering spending $14 million extra on measures to help reduce demand for water.
A 1 per cent increase in water bills would fund the move, if the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW approved it.
The Energy and Utilities Minister, Frank Sartor, yesterday announced cabinet approval for stage two water restrictions. They would be introduced if dam levels fell below 50 per cent of capacity. Such a situation is expected in six weeks if more rain does not fall.
The Government has not decided which three days it will permit watering. But Mr Sartor said they would include either a Saturday or a Sunday and two days during the week.
A second measure would force owners of new or renovated pools to fit water-efficient appliances in their homes before Sydney Water allowed them to fill them.
Sydney Water's subsidised retrofit program installs more efficient showerheads. The $22 cost includes a plumber's visit to install water-saving equipment elsewhere inside the house. These would create an 8 per cent reduction in household water use.
Mr Sartor said the Government was looking at increasing from $16 million to about $30 million Sydney Water's budgeted demand management plans, which include a rebate scheme for rainwater tanks, information programs and subsidies. Some of the budget increase would go towards a "demand management fund" from which private sector companies could bid to introduce water re-use schemes.
If the pricing tribunal approved the 1 per cent price rise for Sydney water consumers, it would not happen before July next year, a ministerial spokeswoman said.
Mr Sartor said an increase of $14 million on the Sydney Water budget of $1.3 billion was "not much".
"We're not talking about major cost increases to consumers," he said.
The announcements came as the Agriculture Minister, Ian Armstrong, revealed a further 11 per cent of NSW had been declared drought affected this month, up to 63.7 per cent from 53.4 per cent in March. Mr Armstrong said farmers faced a "grim autumn and winter".
Mandatory water restrictions have been in place since last October.
Mr Sartor said 50 per cent dam capacity levels, which would trigger stage two water restrictions, would have been reached by now without the rain that fell in the first week of April. It boosted dam levels by 2.2 per cent, to 52.8 per cent.
Warragamba Dam, however, which supplies 80 per cent of Sydney's drinking water, sits at 48.6 per cent of capacity. Without rain Sydney's dam levels fall by between 0.4 per cent and 0.5 per cent a week.
"It's not critical, it's just that we have to be cautious," Mr Sartor said. "When you're dealing with the water supply for 4 million people you have to be absolutely cautious. All we're doing is being very precautionary. In fact the level of Warragamba in 1980 was lower. It fell to 45 per cent."
The second stage measures are expected to increase the amount of water saved in Sydney from the 12 per cent saved so far in stage one to about 14 per cent.
April 14th, 2004, 12:57 AM
One thing i have allways wondered, is why an extension of woronora dam has never occoured, as it seems to be in one of the prime spots in sydney, at least for rainfall, and allways is consistently the dam in sydney that has the highest amount of water in it (as far as i can remember in droughts)
Also why havent we started to trial technologies like ASR?
And just being picky - isnt Prospect Reservoir, just the holding point for the water for sydney for all dams, except woronora, not a dam? - i think its the filtration point?
April 14th, 2004, 10:11 PM
The State Government isn't into building dams or expanding them because of the environmental consequences associated with building dams. Thats why we don't hear anything about dams being expanded or new ones built. There is a dam though being proposed near Braidwood on the South Coast, but the State Government is trying to find ways that will avert the need for that dam to be built, even examining building pipelines that link the other dams with Warragamba which is a good idea.
Also here is an article suggesting that suggesting permament water restrictions.
From The Sydney Morning Herald (smh.com.au)
Full dams will not end water restrictions
By Mark Coultan
April 15, 2004
Some form of water restrictions will become permanent, even after dam levels return to normal, the Utilities Minister, Frank Sartor, said yesterday.
Outlining far-ranging changes to the way water is collected, used and priced, he said a growing population, climate change and restrictions on supply meant Sydney could not return to its old ways.
"There will be some form of permanent restrictions; the free-for-all is over," Mr Sartor said.
The new permanent restrictions would be "fairly moderate, not quite as severe as level one but sensible and moderate".
Although the exact nature of the restrictions had not been decided, Mr Sartor said they may allow people to wash their cars with hoses again, but only if they have trigger nozzles.
And there may be a permanent ban on watering gardens during daylight.
A survey by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal found high levels of public support for water restrictions.
It found 10 per cent of people supported water restrictions to maintain reasonable dam levels, 63 per cent would support restrictions imposed once a year and 11 per cent every two or more years. Nine per cent said they would never support them.
As well as permanent regulations on water use, the State Government is reviewing the present restrictions and when they come into force.
The current system specifies that level-two restrictions begin when dam levels fall to 45 per cent, but cabinet recently decided to introduce them at 50 per cent, which may happen next month.
One level-two restriction will be on filling new swimming pools, unless residents have fitted their houses with water efficient appliances such as shower heads.
Ray Awadallah, the managing director of the largest pool company in NSW, Blue Haven Pools, claimed that watering the grass a swimming pool replaced used more water than the pool itself.
He said a dripping tap used more water than an average home pool, which could be filled for $20. The new rules would discourage people installing pools and threaten the jobs of thousands of people.
The changes announced yesterday come on top of existing moves to guarantee Sydney does not run out of water in the future.
From July 1, new houses will have to be 40 per cent more water-efficient than an existing average home to get council approval. This will apply to new apartments from October 1 and to country areas from next year.
Future changes might include making people install water-efficient devices in their home when they sell or renovate it.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal is considering changing the way people are billed for water, weighing up a system where heavy users must pay a penalty rate for excessive consumption.
Another option is to change Sydney Water's billing method to increase the component of the bill for water consumption and reduce the amount charged for sewerage services. While not increasing the average person's bill, this would have the effect of rewarding small users of water and penalising guzzlers.
The new system of water restrictions will be decided when other decisions have been made about augmenting Sydney's water supply.
On Tuesday the Government announced plans to increase the use of water in the Shoalhaven catchment during periods of flood or drought by pumping water into the Warragamba system, which supplies most of Sydney's water. It also floated plans to gain access to water at deep levels in dams with new pumping equipment.
This has the potential to increase Sydney's water supply by 25 per cent.
May 11th, 2004, 10:10 PM
Stage Two restrictions to begin June 1
*Watering gardens will only be permited on three days per week and only between 5pm and 9am (at night)
*Permits will be required to fill or refill swimming pools
Other stage one restrictions eg washing cars with buckets will remain.
May 21st, 2004, 11:50 PM
From The Sydney Morning Herald (smh.com.au)
Here: the restrictions we had to have
By Stephanie Peatling, Environment Reporter
May 22, 2004
Sydney's dams have fallen to half full, prompting the introduction of tighter water restrictions targeting gardens and swimming pools.
With no rain in sight, the Minister for Utilities, Frank Sartor, said the new bans were "the restrictions we had to have".
"We need to drive down water use," Mr Sartor said.
He said the new restrictions would come into force on June 1 but Sydney Water would not start issuing fines until June 14.
The level-two restrictions will apply to all Sydney Water's residential, business and government customers.
They include a further tightening of the hand-watering of gardens. From June 1 use of hand-held hoses will be allowed only before 9am and after 5pm on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Swimming pool owners will need a permit to fill any new or renovated pool with a capacity of 10,000 litres or more. Permits will only be granted to people who agree to fit their home with water-efficient appliances such as low-flow showerheads.
"We will continue to encourage people to save water because we need to safeguard our future supplies against the possibility of a prolonged drought," Mr Sartor said.
More than 70 per cent of NSW is now in drought.
The Government is looking at other options to boost the water supply, including tapping water at the bottom of catchment storages and increasing the amount of water pumped from Tallowa Dam in the Shoalhaven.
But the Opposition called on the Government to be more innovative in its approach to the predicted water shortage.
"Bob Carr must immediately get on with the job of preserving Sydney's stormwater, investing in sewage reuse, expanding water recycling schemes and incorporating desalination," the Opposition utilities spokesman, Brad Hazzard, said.
"The last six months of mandatory water restrictions have proved that reducing water consumption won't stop dam levels dropping. The Government's plan to impose stage-two water bans within days is another stop-gap measure that won't reverse Sydney's worsening water shortage."
Sydney's dams are only half full following a further 0.5 per cent drop in their capacity.
In the past week householders have increased their water consumption, using 2.3 per cent more water than the 10-year average for this week. Since water restrictions began last October average weekly usage has been about 10 per cent less than the average before restrictions.
All level-one restrictions, such as the ban on hosing hard surfaces, remain in place.
Exemptions granted during the level-one restrictions also continued to apply, Mr Sartor said. The exemptions covered the use of recycled water and drip-irrigation systems (including low-pressure "weeping" hoses), and the use of water for essential services such as firefighting.
Using a bucket or watering can to top up existing swimming pools, water lawns and gardens or wash vehicles is still allowed at any time.
August 16th, 2004, 08:05 AM
It's not getting any better, even with some of the rain that has fallen in recent days. If there is not enough rain, Sydney faces stage 3 restrictions within three months. If that happens, we may not be permitted to water our lawns. Not good for the gardens one bit.
August 18th, 2004, 01:21 PM
well, fabo, it appears our buckets and buckets of rain aren't enough! despite a massive 110mms of Rain at Mosman today (18/8) only 9mm at warragamba :(, i guess all this rain isnt that helpful if it doesn't get to warragamba - although the government should really use recycled storm water - where i live (randwick) there is a ton of water flowing down the hills toward coogee, which really would contribute a bit.
August 19th, 2004, 01:24 PM
doesn't matter about the rain at Warragamba, rather in the catchment -- which is the highlands, Razorback range and Blue Mountains
August 22nd, 2004, 01:07 AM
I heard this morning that water could be rationed to households if dam levels continue to drop. Lets pray for rain.
August 22nd, 2004, 08:40 AM
when i went skiing with my friends, we stayed at jindabyne (about 30min drive from thredbo and perisher) it was during the snow season and water was being brought in by huge trucks! the water is so expensive! also, i think australians are one of the highest consumers of water per peson in this world (think of lawns)
August 22nd, 2004, 10:37 PM
Here are some details regarding the proposed water rations along with other solutions to contend with the water shortage
From The Sunday Telegraph (sundaytelegraph.com.au)
Sydney faces water rations
By state political writer LINDA SILMALIS
August 22, 2004
SYDNEY residents would be placed on household water rations under an emergency plan that will take effect if dam levels fall to a critical level.
Emptying: Warragamba Dam
Drinking water would also be shipped from states such as Tasmania, while pressure to taps would be reduced.
These options are canvassed in a confidential Sydney Water report obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, to be considered if supplies became drastic.
The Drought Response Management Plan 2002-2012 is Sydney Water's core strategy in ensuring continuous water supplies to households from Illawarra to the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury area.
About 600,000 megalitres of water is used by consumers in this region each year.
The report shows investigations are under way about setting up an offshore desalination plant to supplement existing water supplies.
The plant would float on a ship moored offshore, with fresh water piped back to land.
While technology exists to meet National Health and Medical Research Council water guidelines, the size and cost of a plant were issues to be considered, the report said.
Tapping into groundwater beneath Sydney is also recommended. Most groundwater used in Sydney is sourced from an aquifer in Botany.
The report outlines other aquifers in Sydney and the south coast that "could be accessed" should the water storage situation worsen.
Water rationing, reducing pressure to taps and shipping water from other states would be considered as a last resort.
"We must be prepared for the worst situation ... and have available some alternatives to ensure there is enough water for the most basic needs of Sydney," the report said. "Sydney Water has the ability to reduce water pressure in the system and, hence, reduce the rate of flow to customers' taps.
"It is also possible for Sydney Water to control the volume of water that is supplied to customers (but) would not undertake such a task unless absolutely every other option has been tried and failed."
The report said 13 per cent of water taken from the system was "unaccounted" or presumed lost through leaks. It recommended a 24-hour repair response time as the water crisis worsened.
Sydney is in its worst drought for 43 years. Despite some rain, supplies still fell last week, with dams 44.6 per cent full on Friday. The NSW Government is expected to bring in level-three water restrictions before the end of the year.
Sydney Water would set up a drought emergency co-ordination centre if dams fell to 30 per cent, the report said.
Almost 4000 families have taken up cash rebates for water tanks since 2002.
February 21st, 2005, 02:34 AM
February 21st, 2005, 02:51 AM
Problem solved. make people who live in the shire drink out of the georges river.
Bad side is though the survivors may envy the dead.
February 23rd, 2005, 02:04 AM
What are the current levels of our dams. We've had some decent rain recently.
February 23rd, 2005, 02:25 AM
42.5% as of Thursday 17th February 2005
February 24th, 2005, 05:14 AM
wow! only 42.5%!
February 24th, 2005, 07:25 AM
this thread should be moved to another area MUSE