MELBURNIANS will be able to use sprinklers any day of the week after the Government announced water restrictions would be lifted.
Premier Ted Baillieu said yesterday Victoria's water storages had topped 81 per cent - the highest for this time of year since 1996 - and the state could now move to the more liberal permanent water use rules.
From Saturday Victorians will be able to use their sprinkler watering system on any day of the week between 6pm and 10am, the Herald Sun reports.
Melburnians also will be able to water with a trigger nozzle hose at any time.
Under permanent water use rules, the use of sprinklers and watering systems is still banned between 10am and 6pm and the hosing of concrete, pathways, tiled areas and decking will remain banned.
It is the first time since 2006 the state has reverted to the permanent rules instead of restrictions.
Water Minister Peter Walsh said Melbourne's water storages had strengthened significantly in the past 12 months with the help of wily water savers.
"The Thomson Dam, our drought reserve which accounts for almost two-thirds of Melbourne's total storage capacity, is today at 76.5 per cent," he said.
The easing of restrictions comes as water bills continue to rise, despite households using less water compared with previous years.
Water bills rose more than 10 per cent in 2010-11, adding $82 per household per year on the average bill.
Victorians are now using less water than any other state and territory.
The average Victorian water bill per household in 2010-11 was $823, up from $741 in 2009-10.
The analysis comes just weeks after it was revealed bills could jump by $280 next financial year to help pay for the desalination plant.
Read more at the Herald Sun
Earlier this month Melbourne's three major water retailers - City West Water, South East Water and Yarra Valley Water - proposed price increases of an average 34 per cent from July next year as part of their five-year plans.
If approved the rise could see the average household pay more than $1100 per year for water.