Saving water

 135 Byng St, Orange
 02 6393 8000
 02 6393 8199

How much water is Orange currently using?

This graph shows the average daily water consumption of residential households (expressed in litres per person per day) in the Orange City Council area.  The target water usage under the current Level 3 restrictions is 220 litres per person per day.

Daily Residential Water Consumption (litres per person per day)

14 March 2019252
7 March 2019256
28 February 2019251
21 February 2019242
14 February 2019197
7 February 2019224

Previous Monthly Averages


Water Restrictions

It’s important for the Orange community to use water responsibly. To help manage water-use for the community, Orange City Council has Water Restrictions in place.

Currently Level 3 restrictions are in place

This means gardens and lawns can be watered for 3 hours in the mornings and 3 hours in the late afternoon, on alternate days. (As a guide: Houses with an odd-numbered street address number should water gardens on odd numbered days of the month. Residents with even numbered house numbers should water gardens on even numbered days of the month.)

The watering times are:

  • between 6:00 and 9:00 in the morning and,
  • between 6:00 and 9:00 in the evenings, every other day, under the odds and evens system.

Level 3 Water Restrictions

Gardens & Lawns

Garden beds, trees, shrubs and lawns may be watered between 6am-9am and between 6pm–9pm every second day under the odds and evens system using microsprays, drip systems and soaker hoses only.  The use of sprinklers are not permitted. Hand-held hoses may be used for one hour, per day, during the aforementioned times.

Watering of new turf is allowed for one week after laying, then level 3 restrictions will apply.

Garden Water Features

Garden water features can be filled and topped up.

Cars and other vehicles

Washing vehicles at home is allowed on any day between 9 am and 12 noon. Vehicles must be washed on the lawn using only a bucket.

Swimming pools and outside spas

Topping up of swimming pools and external spas is allowed any day between 7am-9am and between 6pm-8pm provided pool covers are used.

Bore water, rainwater and water from other sources

Homeowners are encouraged to use all water conservatively, however the restrictions do not apply to rainwater and bore water

If the water source (eg a household tank) is topped up from Council’s water supply system, these level 3 restrictions do apply.

Level 3 restrictions also apply to the purple pipe (Dual Water) system where connected.

This Level 3 restrictions fact sheet is an easy-to-print PDF outline of the water restrictions.

Applying for an exemption from water restrictions

Orange City Council acknowledges that in some circumstances, some businesses or residents can ask to be exempt from the current Water Restrictions. Residents and businesses who want to apply for an exemption from current water restrictions need to complete this form. You will be notified of the result once request has been considered.

Privacy Statement


Water supply storage levels

The combined storage of Suma Park and Spring Creek Dams.

The combined storage of Suma Park and Spring Creek Dams is currently 41.16%.

Individual water storages

LocationDateLevel below spillway mm% of capacity
Suma Park Dam15 March 20191051834.30
Spring Creek Dam15 March 2019141570.51
Lake Canobolas15 March 2019146361.52
Gosling Creek Dam15 March 2019175053.70

NB – The water storage figures for Suma Park Dam from 1 July 2016 (start of a new water year) apply to the new height of the Suma Park Dam wall.  The additional 1m equates to an approximate 10% increase in storage capacity.

Ploughmans Valley & North Orange Dual Water Scheme

This is an important initiative which aims to reduce consumption of drinking water in the Ploughmans Valley & North Orange area by 40%. Instead of using drinking-water, residents can use stormwater collected from the city’s wetlands to irrigate gardens and flush toilets.

This Fact Sheet answers a range of questions from – can I give the water from the purple tap to my pets? Can I wash the car using the purple tap water? Or can I use it to fill the swimming pool?

All houses in the Ploughmans Valley & North Orange area built since 2005 are required to be equipped with a ‘dual water’ plumbing system. Beginning at the distinctive purple-coloured water meter at the front of your property, your house is designed to have two sets of plumbing: one that supplies water to toilets and outdoor taps, and one for all other uses (drinking taps, hot water, washing machines, showers, baths, etc).

Because of the drought, the NSW government gave Orange City Council permission to postpone connecting newly-built houses to the recycled water system until the storm water wetlands were constructed and a second set of water mains were completed.

Smart water advice

Orange City Council is a proud supporter of Smart Water Advice. In collaboration with Smart Approved WaterMark, we are providing a range of tips and resources to help you save water in your home, garden and at work