Water Management

Water Restrictions

There are currently level 5 restrictions in place for Armidale and Guyra.

The forecast is for continued below-average rainfall. Unfortunately, water consumption has not reduced to the levels needed.

The following restrictions apply to the use of water supplied through the water reticulation system in the Armidale Regional Council area:

What does this mean for me at home?


Level 5 - Trigger 1

Garden sprinklers and fixed hoses

Banned at all times

Hand held hoses, drip irrigation

Banned at all times

Buckets/cans to water gardens and lawns

Banned at all times (except recycled water e.g. laundry or shower water)

Vehicle washing

Buckets for windscreen, windows, number plates and mirrors only (emergency Service vehicles excepted).

Washing down hard surfaces

Banned at all times

Filling or topping up private swimming pools, spas or ornamental ponds

Banned at all times

Cleaning of rubbish bins, tools and related equipment inc. animal enclosures/ kennels

Cleaning for health and safety purposes only. Allowed at any time using water efficient means.

Outdoor showers

Banned at all times

What does this mean for businesses, including the University?


Level 5 - Trigger 1

Cleaning vehicles at truck wash

Restricted operating hours.

Building and construction

Use of town water for dust suppression on construction sites is not permitted. Other uses of town water on construction sites require an application for an exemption.

Road construction and maintenance

Use of town water not permitted.

Use alternative water source as appropriate.

Water carting (No water carting outside Armidale Regional Local Government Area)

No carting by commercial carters from Guyra’s water supply. Small volumes of water can be carted from Armidale at Council’s new filling station at the Arboretum


Buckets or water can only

Automatic flush toilets

On demand only, no automatic timers.

If you require an exemption relating to water use for research or other purposes, please contact the Environmental Sustainability Manager via environment@une.edu.au. Please be mindful that there are no guarantees the exemptions will be granted.

Water Saving Tips

In the house
  • Keep drinking water in the fridge to avoid running water down the sink;
  • Use the washing machine and dishwasher only when full, using the economy cycle;
  • Turn taps off firmly and replace washers as soon as they start leaking;
  • Install a water-efficient shower head and fit tap aerators to taps to reduce usage;
  • Repair any leaking toilets and use the half-flush;
  • Buy new appliances with a high water-efficiency rating;
  • Detect hidden leaks: record the numbers on your water meter before bed and again in the morning. If you used no water and the numbers differ, there could be a hidden leak;
  • Using wet-wipes or disposable paper towels for surface cleaning instead of running the tap to wet and rinse dish cloths (the paper towels can go into your green bin for composting)
  • Putting a bowl in the sink/s to capture grey water & using fresh water only for hand rinsing after soap lather;
  • Depending on opportunity/need, using wet-wipes instead of taking a shower;
  • Using warm water in electric jugs instead of running water until it turns hot;
  • Reducing shower time to as short as possible – e.g. lather before shower
  • Extending days out for hair washing;
  • In cold weather use the water collected while waiting for taps to run hot and use it for hot water bottles. In the morning when the water in the bottles is cold, tip it back into the bucket and use on the garden;
  • Put some water in a bowl in the sink and use it for quick hand wash, cleaning the chopping knife, scrubbing the vegies etc to save running the tap. This water can also be used after cooking to soak dishes in;
  • When cleaning out pet’s water bowls, put the unused water on the garden;
  • Keep a small bucket in the kitchen for collecting bits  and pieces of water, e.g. the end of the teapot, water for pets, water used to rinse bottles or containers which can tip into the bucket.  This water can then be used for the garden;
  • Use any water generated by your airconditioner on the garden or to clean the car;
  • Fill a small plastic cup with water and use this when brushing your teeth – tipping the water on the brush instead of running the tap.  Usually a drinking cup/plastic glass full is enough to clean the brush and wash your mouth out.
In the garden
  • Select the plants most compatible to your area.
  • Group plants with similar watering needs together.
  • Compost kitchen scraps and garden waste.
  • Mulch around plants to reduce water evaporation.
  • Double your soil's water holding ability by increasing its depth, making it less compacted and adding composted organic material.
  • Remove weeds quickly - they are water thieves.
  • Install a rainwater tank.
  • Install a grey-water reuse system for watering gardens and washing cars.


The University recognises the complexity and difficulties facing water management in Australia. To help ameliorate and develop knowledge within the area, the Water Research and Innovation Network (WRaIN) was established. This group views water through an interdisciplinary frame; its key goals are to:

  • achieve high impact results by carrying out research relevant to communities and current water research agendas;
  • establish, maintain and strengthen links with regional and rural industries and communities by incorporating research results into tools and systems for sustainable water management; and
  • develop education programs that integrate the environmental, policy and cultural evidence for sustainable water management.