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City West Water

Rules and responsibilities

What rules, restrictions and responsibilities are currently in affect for Victoria’s water?

Along with Melbourne’s other water authorities we have created a few easy permanent water use rules for all Victoria’s to follow.

 Read our list of practices and associated responsibilities below to find out how you can legally use water around your home or business.

Watering days 

There are no set watering days.

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.

Watering times (applicable for the use of watering systems)

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


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

Exemptions to rules and restrictions

Water use rules, restrictions and responsibilities do not apply to recycled, reclaimed, rain or grey water except where it is supplemented in any way by drinking water.

Automatic exemptions

Automatic exemptions do not need approval from your water authority to use water:

  • During or immediately after applying fertilizers.
  • 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.

Exemptions after application

Applications must be made to your water authority to use water to:

  • Water new warm season grass lawns - visit for application details.
  • Maintain sporting grounds/recreational areas.
    Watering systems may be used outside the prescribed watering times with a Water Use Plan approved by us.
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