Watering exemptions for businesses

If your business falls under one of the categories below, you can water outside of the watering normal sprinkler roster.

Available exemptions

If you’re currently managing or planning to establish a community garden, you can apply for an exemption.

A community garden is defined as a garden that:

  • is managed by a community group and/or a not-for-profit organisation
  • involves the participation of the wider community and/or a specific community (e.g. retirement village) in the day to day operation of the garden
  • includes growing fruit, vegetables and herbs as primary activities.

A community garden does not include a productive garden at a school and the the normal sprinkler roster applies.

How to apply

Get your community garden manager to call us on 13 10 39 with the following information: 

  • the address of the community garden
  • name, telephone details and email address
  • the name of the person responsible for watering the community garden
  • if the community garden uses a bore or scheme water
  • the waterwise design features incorporated in the community garden
  • the date you would like the exemption to start.

Exemption conditions

For community gardens south of Kalbarri & Kalgoorlie (inclusive)
  • Between 1 September and 31 May you can water the garden every day.
  • From 1 June to 31 August you can water it 3 days per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, you need to in order to maintain healthy plant growth. 
  • The amount of water applied daily can't exceed 10mm. 
  • Sprinklers can only run once on any of these given days before 9am or after 6pm.
  • You can run drip irrigation twice on any of these given days only if the total daily application amount doesn't exceed 10mm.
For community gardens north of Kalbarri & Kalgoorlie (exclusive)
  • An irrigation system can be used daily if you need to in order to maintain healthy plant growth.
  • The amount of water applied daily can't exceed 20mm. 
  • Sprinklers must only be run once each day before 9am or after 6pm.
  • Drip irrigation can daily provided that the total daily use doesn't exceed 20mm.

Licensed bores

If you have a licensed bore please contact the Department of Water on (08) 6364 7600 to find out what kind of excemptions apply to you.


You can apply for an exemption to change your designated watering days. When applying, you must show us why you need to change your days after having considered all other options.

This exemption allows you to water before 9am or after 6pm on the selected days.

When operating irrigation systems for these purposes, you can water for the minimum extent necessary. This means:

  • limiting testing to a maximum of 2 minutes per station
  • clearly displaying an 'authorised sprinkler testing in progress' sign.

You can water up to 10mm once the area has been vacated.

You can water using efficient irrigation practices.  For example, for many glasshouse plants, the use of a mist spray for up to 1 minute 4 times a day is satisfactory.

In towns south of (and including) Kalbarri and Kalgoorlie, you can water using an irrigation system for 1 extra day per week on top of your rostered watering day/s.

If you have an aviary you can put your sprinklers on and use the minimum amount of water necessary to maintain your birds.

You can water to the minimum extent necessary to ensure the viable operation of the market garden or plant nursery.

You can water for 10 minutes before any sporting activities begin.

If you work in the turf, garden and landscaping industry, you can apply 10mm of water immediately after the application of fertiliser, wetting agents or vertimowing. 

This exemption is not available to general customers who are expected to carry out these activities and watering on their allocated day and within the allowed times.

You can use water as required for fire fighting or training for fire fighting.

All commercial and industrial properties are exempt if the water is required for operational purposes. This exemption doesn't cover watering of lawns and/or gardens at these properties.

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