Exemptions to permanent water use rules

Water use rules, restrictions & responsibilities don't apply to recycled, reclaimed, rain or grey water except if supplemented by drinking water.

Automatic exemptions

You do not need approval from your water authority to use water:

  • during or immediately after applying fertilisers
  • testing irrigation systems for existing gardens and lawns
  • for occupational health and safety purposes (e.g. to limit dust) as a result of construction/reconstruction/renovation activities, motocross, equestrian or similar events.

Limited circumstances exceptions

In special limited circumstances you can apply for an exemption to the Permanent Water Use Rules.

Medical condition or disability

If you have a medical condition or a disability, you can apply for an exemption.
Permanent Water Rules Exemption Form

Garden of Significance

A public or private garden that has significant botanic, environmental or historic qualities is considered a ‘Garden of Significance’. You can apply for an exemption to the Permanent Water Use Rules to ensure your garden can be watered appropriately.
Garden of Significance Exemption Form

Planting new lawn

When you install or sow new grass you are required to apply for an exemption which allows you to water it outside of the hours allowed in the Permanent Water Use Rules for up to 28 days. This exemption only applies to ‘warm season grass’ (Couch, Buffalo and Kikuyu) which is best suited to Melbourne’s climate and is water efficient.
Warm Season Grass Exemption Form

View our Drought Preparedness Plan – an important mechanism to assist management of water shortages.

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