Water Wise Rules

Water Wise Rules are simple, common sense actions about the way we use water outside. 

They've replaced water restrictions and apply to everyone in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra. This includes both residents and businesses.

Children watering garden using a hose fitted with a  trigger nozzle

Trigger nozzles stop water waste as you move between plants.

Who do the rules apply to?
The rules apply to everyone - individuals and businesses - and are mandatory.

Watering your garden

You can:

  • water with hoses fitted with a trigger nozzle, sprinklers and irrigation systems any day before 10 am and after 4 pm
  • use a bucket or watering can to water lawns and gardens at any time
  • establish new lawn using your sprinkler or watering system at any time of day for 14 days after you’ve laid the turf
  • use water from your rainwater tank, as long as it’s not connected to, or topped up with, drinking water.

Looking after your pool and keeping cool

You can:

  • fill or top up your swimming pool
  • use water to cool people or animals.


You can:

  • use a bucket, watering can or a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle to wash vehicles
  • clean your bin using a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle. Where possible, wash your bin in an official bin wash area or on grass
  • hose paths, driveways, concrete or other paved surfaces for health, safety, emergency, construction or surface discoloration reasons
  • use a hose to flush your boat engine
  • use a hose with a trigger nozzle or high pressure cleaning device to clean your boat bilges, boat trailer brakes and wheels.

Fire fighting

You can:

  • use a fire hose for fire fighting activities.

The following types of water are exempt from Water Wise Rules:

  • Recycled water
  • Bore water
  • Water used to test fire systems
  • Water used for fire fighting.

Water from rainwater tanks is also exempt if it's not topped up from our water supply.

Some government restrictions apply to bore water and water extracted from rivers, so always check with your local council or WaterNSW.