Water restrictions set to be introduced in Hunter region

UNDER the roll-out of a new water plan, the Hunter will be hit with tight water restrictions aimed at protecting the region's water supplies.

The state government has announced the introduction of water-wise measures, which are expected to save about a billion litres of water a year.

NSW Finance and Services Minister Andrew Constance said the plan had identified "cost-effective ways of making better use of existing water resources", rather than unnecessarily building new infrastructure.

The restrictions will be effective from July 1.

Failure to comply will result in hefty fines.

Hunter Water could issue the fines, but would initially focus on an education campaign and send warning letters or staff to visit homes.

From July rules include:

■ All hand-held hoses must have a trigger nozzle.

■ Watering with a sprinkler, irrigation system or trigger nozzle hose is permitted before 10am or after 4pm.

■ No hosing of hard surfaces such as driveways.

■ All vehicles must be washed with a bucket, trigger nozzle hose or pressure cleaner.

■ Fines of $220 for an individual and $550 for a corporation can apply.

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