U.S. Water News Online
SYDNEY, Australia -- A new weather-related phenomenon has
sprung up in Sydney -- water rage.
As Australia's most populous city battles a two-year drought with
harsh water restrictions, neighbors are turning into vigilantes to
stamp out illicit irrigation.
``I am alarmed at reports that neighbors have decided to appoint
themselves as enforcers of water restrictions,'' New South Wales
state Energy and Utilities Minister Frank Sartor said in a statement.
Sartor's comments followed media reports two Sydney neighbors came
to blows over a family's manicured and apparently well-watered lawn.
Restrictions introduced last month outlaw the use of sprinklers to
water lawns, but do allow residents to hose down the grass. Using a
hose to wash cars or clean driveways also is banned.
People caught breaching the regulations can be slapped with a $158
Sydney Water, the company that supplies the city's water, has
reported thousands of residents reporting their neighbors for water
After giving residents a month to voluntarily comply, the first
fine was issued recently after officers patrolling the upscale
Cremorne neighborhood spotted an automated sprinkler system in use at
Sartor stressed the water patrols were the only people empowered
to mete out punishment.
``Let me spell it out,'' he said. ``There is no room for water
vigilantes in our city.''
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