A number of councils and water utilities across three states in eastern Australia are imposing tighter water restrictions due to the ongoing drought and lack of rain.
Sydney Water will move to level 2 effective 10 December, two months earlier than expected, reports said.
This will affect councils and communities spanning Newcastle to the Illawarra and west to the Blue Mountains.
Dam levels in the region are close to 46 percent and are dropping each week, the NSW Government said on 21 November.
A council on the NSW-QLD border, Tweed Shire Council said, as its only water storage at Clarrie Hall Dam is falling by 1.5 percent a week, it may introduce restrictions before Christmas unless significant rain falls.
Council is carting water into the village of Tyalgum, where level 4 restrictions will start on 24 November.
Dubbo Regional Council in western NSW is on level 4 restrictions with residents set a daily target of 280 litres per person per day.
Orange City Council in October imposed level 5 restrictions, with a target of 160 litres per person per day.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will impose level 3 “very high” water restrictions from 25 November.
Further south, Shoalhaven City Council said level one restrictions will begin on 2 December and will last until it rains “significantly”.
Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council, east of Canberra, started water restrictions to the towns of Braidwood and Bungendore on 22 November. Mandatory water restrictions are already covering Queanbeyan, Googong and Captains Flat.
Although there are currently no residential or business water restrictions in South East Queensland, residents in Canungra, west of the Gold Coast, have been asked to reduce their water use.
Flows in nearby water source Canungra Creek are the lowest since the Millennium Drought.
Southern Downs Regional Council, which covers towns including Warwick and Stanthorpe, imposed critical restrictions in September and has a 100 litres per person per day target.
In Victoria, Lower Murray Water began restrictions on 21 November for residential gardens and lawn watering.