Melbourne imposes first water curbs in 20 years : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Melbourne imposes first water curbs in 20 years -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Melbourne imposes first water curbs in 20 years MELBOURNE -- Australia's second-biggest city faced its first water restrictions in 20 years on Tuesday as drought ravaging the eastern half of the country continued to take its toll.

Officials in Melbourne said they were imposing curbs on the use of water as of Friday due to falling city water reserves.

The 'stage one' curbs include limits on watering lawns, filling pools and washing cars and will be backed up by fines, Victoria state Premier Steve Bracks said, adding that water storage levels were at 54.1 per cent.

Use of garden sprinklers outside of prescribed times is banned, car owners are required to use buckets and not hoses to wash vehicles and home-owners must obtain permits before filling pools and spas.

State Environment Minister Sherryl Garbutt said the restrictions would be in place for at least six to nine months 'and possibly longer if rainfall remains below average'.

The curbs on water use could be tightened further as the southern summer sets in.

It is the first time water restrictions have been imposed on Melbourne since 1982.

Eastern Australia is in the grips of its worst drought in about two decades, with vast areas of farmland and bush without significant rain for more than six months.

Meteorologists say there are no prospects for significant rainfall soon. --,00.html?

-- Martin (, October 28, 2002

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