Permanent Water Use Rules

Permanent Water Use Rules are a set of common sense rules that help to ensure the water efficient practices adopted by the Melbourne community are maintained into the future.

Permanent water use rules were put in place as of 1 December 2012. In March 2016, Target 155 was reintroduced. Target 155 is a voluntary water efficiency program to encourage metropolitan Melbourne householders to limit their consumption to 155 litres per person per day.

More information on Target 155 is available on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.

What are the Permanent Water Use Rules?

The rules are easy to follow and reflect the views of the community by clearly stating that wasteful practices such as hosing down paved areas and watering in the heat of the day are not acceptable.

Under Permanent Water Use Rules, you no longer have set watering days however, there are set watering times when using watering systems.

Read the following table to find out how you can legally use water around your home.
Activity Guidelines
Watering days There are no set watering days.

Watering times (applicable for the use of watering systems)

Watering systems can only be used to water gardens and lawns in between the hours of 6 pm and 10 am, any day of the week.

Public gardens, lawns and playing surfaces can use a watering system between 6 pm – 10 am, any day of the week or water in accordance with an approved Water Use Plan.
Watering systems for public gardens or lawns must be fitted with a rain or soil moisture sensor.

Lawns Watering systems may be used to water lawns only between the hours of 6 pm and 10 am. Exemptions apply if installing warm season grass or applying fertilisers. Visit warm season grass
Washing windows You can wash windows using a hand held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle.
Trigger nozzles must be used A hand held hose must be fitted with a trigger nozzle and hoses must be in good condition and free of leaks.

No set watering times for hand watering

You may water residential or commercial gardens and lawns as needed with a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle – at any time, on any day of the week.

No hosing paved areas

Hosing down driveways, paths, concrete and other paved areas is not permitted.

You can use a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or a high pressure cleaning device to remove stains from hard surfaces once a season (every three months).

Fountains or water features You can fill and operate your fountain or water feature as long as it recirculates the water.
Car washing

You can continue to use a handheld hose fitted with a trigger nozzle when washing your car, in addition to a bucket or high-pressure cleaning device.

You can continue to use a water efficient commercial car wash.

Pools and spas You can fill or top up pools and spas as needed.