News | 1st Dec, 2011

Water restrictions eased to stage one

Thursday, 1 December 2011
Alison Savage, 774 ABC Melbourne

Melbourne's water restrictions will be eased to stage one from today.

It is the first time since 2006 that restrictions have been eased to the lowest level.

Water Minister Peter Walsh says the changes give households more freedom to water plants, gardens and lawns.

"It means they can water lawns either with manual or automatic watering systems between 6:00am and 10:00am and 6:00pm and 10:00pm," he said.

He says people can water with a hand-held hose or a trigger nozzle at any time of the day.

"You can now wash your car again with a high pressure system or or a hand-held trigger nozzle on a hose."

The move has been criticised by Environment Victoria's Kelly O'Shannassy, for sending the wrong message to a community that has already adapted to water saving measures.

Mr Walsh says he expects households to continue to save water.

"I think [it] shows a sensible outlook to what water use there may be in the future and rewards people for what has been a great effort from everyone across Melbourne to be more water sensitive," he said.

Premier Ted Baillieu says they are going to be responsible about the water restrictions and will not make any bold assumptions about the future.

Melbourne's water storages are currently 65.7 per cent full.

Warm weather

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Meteorology says has had above average temperatures and rainfall this spring.
And experts are forecasting a much warmer and drier summer.

Dr Harvey Stern says daytime temperatures in Melbourne were about 2 degrees Celsius above normal.
The average temperature in the city was 21.4C.

"Overnight temperatures also were above normal, by about 2 degrees, and average 11.7C," Mr Stern said.