Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales on Tuesday imposed water restrictions for the first time in a decade with dam levels at just over 50 per cent due to a prolonged drought.
The country’s east coast has suffered through two years of below-average rainfall, devastating agricultural production and stoking a political debate over the impact of climate change.
With the drought showing no sign of abating, state authorities said residents can only water their lawns and gardens between 10am and 4pm.
Washing of hard surfaces such as driveways will be prohibited from June 1. New South Wales, home to about a third of Australia’s 25 million people and its biggest city Sydney, last imposed water restrictions in 2009.
New South Wales Water Minister Melinda Pavey said the latest outlook for dry, hot conditions had forced the government’s hand.