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The Victorian Government's permanent water saving (or use) rules are always in place to help manage our water efficiently. The rules are uniform across Victoria and are included in each water corporation's permanent water saving plan.

Breaking these rules could result in penalties.

The rules will not prevent the need for additional water restrictions during major drought periods but will help us use water more efficiently and encourage all Victorians to value this precious resource for the long term.

Key water saving rules

These rules let you know how you can use water.

Hand-held hose

Water from a hand-held hose must not be used for any purpose (whether the use is subject to a permanent water saving rule) at any time unless the hose is:

  • fitted with a trigger nozzle and
  • leak-free.

Residential or commercial gardens and lawns

A residential or commercial garden or lawn cannot be watered except with the following:

  • a hand-held hose, bucket or watering can at any time or
  • a watering system between 6 pm to 10 am on any day.

Public gardens and lawns and playing surfaces

A public garden or lawn area or a playing surface cannot be watered except:

  • with a hand-held hose, bucket or watering can at any time
  • with a watering system fitted with a rain or soil moisture sensor between the hours of 6 pm to 10 am on any day, or
  • under an approved Water Use Plan.

Fountains and water features

Water cannot be used in a fountain or a water feature unless the fountain or water feature recirculates the water.

Cleaning of hard surfaces

Water cannot be used to clean hard surfaces (including driveways, paths, concrete, tiles, and timber decking) except:

  • where cleaning is required because of an accident, fire, health hazard, safety hazard or other emergency
  • if staining to the surface has developed, and then only once a season
  • during construction or renovation

And then, only using:

  • a high-pressure water cleaning device or
  • if such a device is unavailable, a hand-held hose or a bucket.

Page last updated: 08/09/23