Water restrictions and conservation measures

1. Update 2 April 2020

Water restrictions were introduced in Braidwood and Bungendore on 22 November 2019.

Braidwood will move back to water conservation measures from Friday 6 March 2020.

Bungendore will move back to water conservation measures from Friday 3 April 2020.

Mandatory water conservation measures will remain in place for Captains Flat, Googong and Queanbeyan. 

2. Why do different areas of Queanbeyan-Palerang come under different levels of water restrictions?

Braidwood, Bungendore, Captains Flat and Queanbeyan (including Googong and Jerrabomberra) all get their water from different sources.

In Braidwood the water comes from the Shoalhaven River where we have a licence to extract raw water that is then treated and supplied to the community. Recent rainfalls have seen the river return to normal flow which is why we have been able to lift restrictions.

Bungendore's water comes from bores and monitoring of water levels has shown significant recovery following the dry period. Water restrictions became necessary during the summer months when ground water sources began to show a decline. However, following a review of bores and recent town water usage levels in mid-March, Council believes the situation has eased, and will continue to improve as we move into the colder months when daily water usage further reduces.

Captains Flat has its own dam which retains good capacity for the town needs.

Queanbeyan gets water from Icon Water in the ACT who own and operate four dams in the region (Googong, Cotter, Corin and Bendora dams). Icon Water will determine if/when Queanbeyan moves to water restrictions. A move to water restrictions in Queanbeyan is not Council's decision to make.

In the first half of 2020, we expect to commission a long-awaited water recycling plant in Googong that will help drought-proof Googong by providing recycled water through "purple pipes" for watering of gardens, outdoor public spaces, sports grounds, flushing of toilets and in some cases washing of clothes.

Further information about the water situation in Canberra/Queanbeyan is available at: www.iconwater.com.au  

You can complete the online form to apply for an exemption to the water restrictions. All applications are treated on a case-by-case basis.

3. Water Conservation Measures - Braidwood, Bungendore and Captains Flat

Download the water conservation measures flyer(PDF, 511KB)

Access to water for eligible farmland properties

Access to town water from the Braidwood, Bungendore and Captains Flat water supplies for eligible farmland properties is limited to 1000 litres per day. Water can be obtained from the following sites:

  • Braidwood - Bicentennial Park
  • Bungendore - near Council depot in Ellendon St 
  • Captains Flat - Wilkins Park

Private gardens and lawns, commercial nurseries, market gardens and turf-growing businesses

  • Sprinkler and other irrigation systems can be used to water lawns and plants only between 6pm and 9am on any day from 1 September to 31 May (inclusive).
  • A hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, a bucket or a watering can may be used at any time.
  • At all times, gardens and lawns may only be watered without causing pooling or runoff.

Lawns and plants at parks, sports amenities, golf courses and public gardens

  • Sprinkler and other irrigation systems can be used to water lawns and plants only between 6pm and 9am on any day from 1 September to 31 May (inclusive).
  • A hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, a bucket or a watering can may be used at any time.
  • At all times, gardens and lawns may only be watered without causing pooling or runoff.

Paved areas

  • A bucket and mop or high-pressure, low-volume cleaner can be used to clean paved areas at any time.
  • Otherwise, water must not be used to clean paved areas unless cleaning is necessary as a result of accident, fire, health hazard or other emergency.

Vehicles

If not washed at a commercial car wash, any vehicle should be washed on a lawn or other porous surface wherever practicable and then may only be washed by using:

  • a bucket or watering can
  • a high-pressure, low-volume cleaner or
  • a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle.
  • boat motors may be flushed or rinsed after use.

Windows and Buildings

Windows may be washed or gutters may be cleaned at any time. Other parts of a building may be washed at any time by using a bucket and mop/brush or a high-pressure, low-volume cleaner, unless cleaning is necessary as result of accident, fire, health hazard or other emergency.

Construction and related activities

  • Water can only be used for dust or other pollutant suppression by means of a hose fitted with a flow cut-off device or a vehicle fitted with sprinklers. Unless impractical, water may only be used by means of a hose fitted with a flow cut-off device.
  • Wherever practicable, non-potable water should be used.

4. Water Conservation Measures - Queanbeyan and Googong

There are mandatory water conservation measures in place for Queanbeyan and Googong. 

Access to water for eligible farmland properties

Access to town water from the Bungendore, Captains Flat and Braidwood water supplies for eligible farmland properties is limited to 1000 litres per day. Water can be obtained from the following sites:

  • Braidwood - Bicentennial Park
  • Captains Flat - Wilkins Park
  • Bungendore - near Council depot in Ellendon St   

Private gardens and lawns not elsewhere included

  • Sprinkler and other irrigation systems can be used to water lawns and plants only between 6pm and 9am on any day from 1 September to 31 May (inclusive).
  • A hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, a bucket or a watering can may be used at any time.
  • At all times, gardens and lawns may only be watered without causing pooling or runoff.

Paved areas

  • A bucket and mop or high-pressure, low-volume cleaner can be used to clean paved areas at any time.
  • Otherwise, water must not be used to clean paved areas unless cleaning is necessary as a result of accident, fire, health hazard or other emergency.
  • In these circumstances the most water-efficient method of cleaning reasonable available should be adopted.

*All applicable laws must be complied with when discharging substances into the stormwater system. 

Vehicles

If not washed at a commercial car wash, any vehicle should be washed on a lawn or other porous surface wherever practicable and then may only be washed by using:

  • a bucket or watering can.
  • a high-pressure, low-volume cleaner.
  • a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle.
  • boat motors may be flushed or rinsed after use.

Windows, buildings and building gutters

  • Building gutters may be cleaned at any time by any means.
  • Windows and other external parts of buildings may be washed at any time, but only by using a bucket and mop/brush or a high-pressure, low-volume cleaner.
  • Otherwise, water must not be used to wash building exteriors unless cleaning is necessary as a result of accident, fire, health hazard or other emergency. In these circumstances the most water-efficient method of cleaning reasonably available should be adopted.

*All applicable laws must be complied with when discharging substances into the stormwater system.

Private ponds and fountains

Emptying and refilling existing pools and filling new pools and spas

Pools and spas with a capacity of 3,000 litres or more must not be either emptied, refilled, or filled for the first time, unless:

  • the occupier of the premises has lodged a water offset plan with Icon Water;
  • Icon Water has approved the water offset plan;
  • the occupier of the premises complies with the approved water offset plan; and
  • the pool or spa is fitting with a cover (that covers at least 80 percent of the surface area of the water) when the pool or spa is not in use.

Pools and spas with a capacity less than 3,000 litres may only be refilled, or filled for the first time, using a hand-held hose fitted a trigger nozzle, a bucket or a watering can.

Topping up pools and spas

Pools and spas with a capacity of 3,000 or litres of more may only be topped up using a bucket, a watering can or a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle and only if:

  • the owner or occupier of the premises has registered with Icon Water;
  • the topping up is done before 9am or after 6pm on any day; and
  • the pool or spa is fitting with a cover (that covers at least 80% of the
  • surface area of the water) when the pool or spa is not in use.

Pools and spas with a capacity less than 3,000 litres may only be topped up using a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle, a bucket or watering can.

Water Storage tanks, dams and lakes

Unless the property, at which a water storage facility is located, is not connected to Icon Water's potable water supply system, a water storage tank, dam or lake may only be filled or topped up if:

  • the owner or occupier of the premises has lodged an exemption application with Icon Water;
  • Icon Water has granted the exemption; and
  • water is used in accordance with the exemption.

Construction and related activities

Wherever practicable, non-potable water should be used. In green fields sites, water can be used for dust or pollutant suppression or earth compaction only:

  • by means of a hose fitted with a flow cut-off device or a vehicle fitted with sprinklers;
  • if the occupier of the premises has lodged an exemption application with Icon Water;
  • if Icon Water has granted the exemption; and if water is used in accordance with the exemption.

In all other cases, water may be used for building and construction activities only where alternative water sources are not reasonable available or suitable (provided that water may not be used at any time to generate an exposed aggregate finish). Unless impractical, such water may only be used by means of a hose fitted with a flow cut-off device.

6. Apply for an exemption to water restrictions

You can complete the form below to apply for an exemption to the water restrictions. All applications are treated on a case-by-case basis. 

Click here to view form.