Kids at a childcare centre in Dubbo are having fun scraping and then rinsing their plates in a bucket of water before putting them into a dishwasher.
The serious business of saving water has a bright side at Community Kids Dubbo in Goode Street.
"We don't want to be alarmist," said centre manager Katie Greenaway.
"So we try to turn our water-wise ways into fun."
For weeks Ms Greenaway and her colleagues have been teaching children how to save water while preparing a Water Saving Action Plan (WSAP).
The centre is among about 300 businesses in the Dubbo region which must implement a WSAP under level four water restrictions starting Friday.
Level four water restrictions in the Dubbo region have a usage target of 245 litres (L) of water per person per day, 50L less than the stage three water restrictions target.
Ms Greenaway identified ways in which the centre was responding to Dubbo Regional Council's call to observe restrictions and conserve water.
"We've already cut out water play and stopped watering plants some time ago," she said.
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"The children have been instructed on use of the half flush, washing their hands without running the tap continuously and how to brush their teeth with a cup of water.
"One of the things they now enjoy most is scraping and rinsing their own plates in a bucket of water before they go into the dishwasher.
"It's something they really love doing and a great skill that I'm sure their mums and dads would like to see continue at home."
Community Kids Dubbo is faring better than its sister centre in Tamworth where level five restrictions have a usage target of 150L of water per person per day.
Centre manager Barbara McHugh said outdoor watering had been abandoned "a long time ago and as a result outdoor play has been virtually curtailed".
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"We have a soft play area around the play equipment but the outdoor area is not very appealing at the moment, just a big dust bowl," she said.
"We're keeping a close eye on children's use of water around taps and it's a daily discussion but we don't want to be doomsday about it."
Water restrictions apply to potable water also referred to as town water.
For more information visit www.dubbo.nsw.gov.au/droughthub.