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Water restrictions

We work closely with Sydney Water on our water usage plans to protect our globally significant Living Collection mindfully and proactively limit our water usage.

With increased pressure on our water resources, we constantly look for ways to improve our water efficiency through a combination of adjusting our future plantings, technology, improved water application hardware and soil moisture monitoring. 

Our voluntary action plans are short and long-term, intending to limit our water usage across the organisation.

Many areas of the Garden are not irrigated at all and depend on natural rainfall year-round. We strive to complete necessary watering on timers that operate at night and at times hand-water specific collections. In extreme cases, areas of the Garden will not be watered, such as our lawns.

We will turn off most of our water features during Level 2 restrictions; this includes Morshead Gate Fountain, Governor Arthur Phillip Fountain, Macquarie Street Bowl Fountain, Cripple Children’s Fountain, Woolloomooloo Gate Fountain (East Gate), Pioneer Fountain, Levy Fountain.

Longer-term, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney has recently developed an irrigation masterplan to see the site independent of potable water for at least 90% of our Living Collection.

Currently, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah is operated entirely independent from the local water supply by stormwater collection. The Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan uses non-potable water supplied by Water NSW.