As the Hunter region is experiencing the lowest water levels in decades, from 20 January 2020, level 2 water restrictions will apply to everyone in the Lower Hunter.

Who do the water restrictions affect?

The water restrictions will apply to all properties that are connected to Hunter Water’s supply network around Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Dungong and some areas of Singleton.
This will affect all properties, including businesses and homes.

What are level 2 restrictions?

Home & business Additional business restrictions
  • Garden & yard watering – only every second day before 10am or after 4pm, for a totle of 15 minutes per day. Even house numbers water on even days, odd numbers on odd days.
  • Bucket washing only for cars and buildings
  • Limit shower duration to 4 minutes or less
  • No hosing of hard surfaces such as driveways or footpaths
  • No sprinklers or irrigation systems permitted
  • All hoses must be used with trigger nozzles
  • Repair dripping taps or leaking toilets immediately

What is excluded from the water restrictions?

  • Recycled water
  • Greywater (this is water from the sink, showers, washing machines etc)
  • Rainwater
  • Bore Water
  • Water that is used for firefighting, testing and related activities

 What does this mean for your business?

The level 2 water restrictions apply to both businesses and home, however, there are additional expectations for businesses.

As noted above, all businesses will need to implement a Water Efficiency Management Plan (WEMP). This is a plan that identifies the water-saving initiatives within your business operations and provides guidelines on how these initiatives can be implemented.

If you are a small to medium business, Hunter Water has created a checklist to help identify the opportunities your business may have to save water and create and implement the initiatives.
The checklist can be found here.

What are my responsibilities as a business owner?

Business Usage Requirements
Businesses that use 50 million + litres per year Work with Hunter Water to monitor you ongoing implementation of WEMP
Businesses that use 10 million + litres per year Having already developed your WEMP, now is the time to implement it
Businesses using less than 10 million litres per year You will need to submit an Online WEMP via the Hunter Water website.


Businesses will need to ensure that they are aware of how level 2 water restrictions may affect their business. Breaches of Level 2 water restrictions can result in fines for individuals and corporations, with Community Water Officers able to enter properties to investigate suspected breaches.

It is important to note that some critical business activities may be exempt from the restrictions.

You can find information on exemptions and an application form via Hunter Water here.

All information obtained for this article was gathered from the Hunter Water website.

Disclaimer: This publication by Morrissey Law & Advisory is for general information and commentary only and should not be considered or relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in relation to any matters or transactions that may arise in relation with communication.