A proposed revamp of water restrictions in the Dubbo region could save businesses, jobs and "small areas of lawn".
Dubbo Regional Council will consider a revised water restrictions table at its meeting on Monday, three days after their escalation to level four.
It allows for the watering of lawns and new turf, forbidden under current level four restrictions.
The council's chief executive officer Michael McMahon is recommending the altered table be adopted along with "further communication with residents and businesses on compliance".
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He reports of feedback from industry experts, businesses and residents influencing the proposed changes. Senior staff of the council have held talks with the Dubbo Green Space Alliance, formed with the intention of working with "all stakeholders' to counter the detrimental impacts of rising water restrictions.
The revised table still has six levels of water restrictions in both the residential, and commercial and institutional, categories.
Residential and daily usage targets are more generous "based on historic water usage and availability of water". In the revised table the level four water restrictions target is 280 litres (L) per person per day as compared with the current 245L.
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Mr McMahon said a proposed drop in the region's baseline usage target from 440L to 400L per person per day, representing a 10 per cent reduction in residential water use outside any water restrictions period, aimed to encourage "long-term water-wise behaviour".
Significant changes to level four water restrictions in the revised table include a green light for watering of up to 50 square metres of new turf but not "during the heat of the day". A "new turf watering plan" would have to be approved by the council.
Householders would be able to water lawns or gardens for 30 minutes on Wednesdays and Sundays before 9am or after 6pm, with conditions including being present the entire time in the absence of "programmable timed systems".
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They would be able to use either a water-efficient drip or fixed-timed/ programmable smart-water system, or handheld hoses fitted with trigger nozzles. "This usage level is aimed at keeping valuable plants or small areas of lawn alive through this period," Mr McMahon said.
The revised table does not mention evaporative air conditioners which under current stage four water restrictions cannot be used between the hours of 12am and 7am.