SYDNEY, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Sydney will reintroduce water usage restrictions beginning this weekend, as dam levels fall towards 50 percent capacity.
It is the first time in more than a decade that the city has had to take such measures to protect its water supply, and authorities say that many residents are unaware that the majority of the city is considered “drought affected.”
“We’re seeing some of the lowest inflows into our dams since the 1940s, so it’s vital we take early and decisive action,” Water Minister Melinda Pavey announced on Tuesday.
Restrictions will mean hoses must be fitted with a trigger nozzle and gardens must only be watered between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Also the watering of hard surfaces such as paths and driveways is prohibited, as is the use of sprinklers and watering systems.
Restrictions are enforceable by law and penalties such as fines of several hundred dollars can be applied to those who fail to comply.
With regional parts of the state experiencing a historic period of drought, Pavey said, “Water restrictions in Sydney mean that households across New South Wales are doing their bit to conserve water.”