Permanent water-saving rules and Target 155

Did you know that permanent water-saving rules have been in place for Melbourne since water restrictions were lifted in 2012? Target 155 reminds us to make the best use of our precious water supply.

Small girl drinking from a glass of water

Target 155

Target 155 is a water-efficiency initiative designed to get us thinking about how much water we use. Put simply, it encourages us to limit water consumption to 155 litres per person, per day.

Melburnians already have a great culture of using water efficiently: research shows that in 2018-19, the average person was using 162 litres per day. To meet Target 155, we need everyone to use just seven litres less each day: that's about three-quarters of a bucket of water.

Do you know how much water you’re using, and if you’re hitting the target? With Melbourne’s average daily water use currently at 161 litres, it’s worth checking out.  

Are you hitting the target?

Step 1: Find your latest water bill to identify your household's average daily water use.

Step 2: Your bill will tell you, according to the number of people in your household, if you're meeting Target 155. If it just shows your household's daily average water use, divide this number by the number of people living in your house to calculate your average daily water use and see if you're each meeting Target 155.

We recently asked our Facebook and Twitter followers about their water consumption, with mixed results:

Our permanent water-saving rules

Two people enjoying rooftop garden at 131 Queen St, Melbourne
Part of our culture: two people sitting amongst a rooftop garden at Queen St, Melbourne

As we work toward Target 155, why not get a refresher on Melbourne's permanent water-saving rules? They ask for a commonsense approach to the everyday use of drinking water, and apply to:

  • residential and commercial gardens and lawns

  • public gardens, lawns and playing surfaces

  • hosing down of hard surfaces

  • window washing

  • vehicle washing

  • pools and spas

  • fountains and water features.

Permanent water-saving rules do not apply to recycled, reclaimed, rain or grey water except where it is supplemented by drinking water.

Target 155 official site, including permanent rules

Water restrictions

Currently, mandatory water restrictions are not in place for Melbourne. For reference, here is the history of water restrictions in our city.

Date​ Restrictions implemented​
01 December 2012​ Water restrictions ceased and new permanent water use rules implemented​​
01 December 2011​​ Stage 1​
01 September 2010​​ Stage 2​
02 April 2010​​ Stage 3​
01 April 2007​​ Stage 3a​
01 January 2007​​ Stage 3​
01 November 2006​​ Stage 2​
01 September 2006​ Stage 1​


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Melbourne Water is working with government and water retailers to secure our water supply now and into the future. Find out why Target 155 is so important for Melbourne.

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Last updated:
30 November 2019