About the project
Water restrictions are a useful demand-management approach to fostering water saving, particularly during periods of drought. The Water Restriction Harmonisation Project responds to an action in the NSW Water Strategy to investigate options for a more consistent approach to water restrictions across NSW, including the development of common principles.
The project also forms part of the ongoing review and improvement of the Regulatory and Assurance Framework for local water utilities (RAF) and its strategic planning assurance functions and supplementary guidance on strategic planning outcomes. In particular, the focus is on outcomes linked to water restrictions such as understanding water security, understanding service needs, and understanding other key risks and challenges.
There are 92 local water utilities in regional NSW and two major metropolitan water utilities (Sydney Water and Hunter Water). They provide water services to different areas with varying climates, populations, water sources and water use needs. Exploring options for consistent water restrictions in council areas can help manage and plan for water security and water supply responses during droughts and reduce risks at state, regional, and local levels.