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You need to be vigilant in your water use at all times, even when you're not under water restrictions! That's why all Victorian towns are subject to Permanent Water Saving Rules. This way, we can all use water responsibly and contribute to the health of our water supplies. The Rules are in place at all times, except for when staged water restrictions are in force.

The Rules don't apply to the use of recycled or reclaimed water, greywater, stormwater or rainwater. They only apply to water supplied by GWMWater (or whichever relevant water authority you fall under).


The 5 Permanent Water Saving Rules

1. Keep your hose healthy

Your hand-held hose should be fitted with a trigger nozzle and kept leak-free. 


2. Water in the mornings and evenings

Avoid watering during the main daylight hours as this water is likely to evaporate before it can be absorbed by plants and lawns. If you can't water in the mornings or evenings, make sure you use a bucket, watering can or hand-held hose with a trigger nozzle rather than a watering system. If you're using a watering system, you can only water overnight between the hours of 6pm and 10am. 


3. Enjoy your water features responsibly

If you have a pond or water feature, feel free to keep enjoying it! However, in compliance with the rules, make sure it uses recirculated water. 


4. Don't hose hard surfaces

Don't use water to clean hard surfaces, such as driveways, paths, concrete, tiles and timber decking, except:

  • where cleaning is needed after an accident, fire, health hazard or other emergency
  • when there's staining on the surface (and even then, keep it to once a season)
  • in the course of construction or renovation.

In cases where you have to use water to clean a hard surface, be water wise and use a high-pressure water cleaner. If that isn't possible, a hand-held hose with a trigger nozzle or bucket can be used. 


5. The rules are for everyone!

The rules also apply to public gardens, lawns and playing surfaces. We all have to contribute to the water conservation effort. A public garden, lawn or playing surface must be watered using a:

  • hand-held hose with a trigger nozzle, a bucket or a watering can or;
  • watering system fitted with a rain or soil moisture sensor between the hours of 6pm and 10am.

Customers are urged to abide by the state-wide Permanent Water Saving Rules as contravention may result in penalties in-line with clauses 170E and 170F of the Water Act 1989.

For more information on the Permanent Water Saving Rules, view our Adobe PDF file icon 24x24Permanent Water Saving Plan.


Legality of water restrictions

Water restrictions are based on the Victorian Government’s four-stage Urban Water Restriction Supply By-Law 105 as adopted by GWMWater.

Customers are urged to abide by these restrictions as contravention may result in penalties of up to $6060 or three months imprisonment for the first offence.




Exemptions may be granted if GWMWater considers that reasonable grounds have been presented. As a part of the process, you may need to place a Submission of a Water Conservation Plan to GWMWater. All applications for exemption will be responded to in writing within 10 business days of receipt.

Adobe PDF file icon 24x24Water Restriction Exemption Application Form (93kB, 2 pages)


Large pools

The filling of large pools is limited under water restrictions. If you want to fill a pool with a capacity over 2,000 L, you'll need permission from GWMWater.

Adobe PDF file icon 24x24Application to Fill a Swimming Pool or Spa (61kB, 2 pages)

If you need help, call us on 1300 659 961.


Further information...

'Target Your Water Use' program

We're encouraging customers to get involved in a new water efficiency program.

TargetYourWaterUse RGB 1cm


Smart Water Advice

Cutting back on your water use not only saves water, but also saves energy, money and the environment. Visit to find out some easy ways to save water in your home, garden and whilst at work.




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