Have a read of the current water restrictions rules from Sydney Water.
Kids can run under sprinklers any time of the day, you can hose windows and walls any time, and you can wash your car at any time. You can also leave your hose running unattended to top up pools or fill containers, and you can even fill pools under 10,000 litres without a permit.
But try to hose your tomatoes any day other than the dictated Sundays and Wednesdays, and then only before 10 or after 4, and you’ll be fined $220.
According to information I was recently sent from Permaculture Principles, home-grown vegies use 1/5th of the water required to grow the same amount of food industrially.
I’ve read some evidence that water restrictions actually increase the amount of water many people use on their gardens. Knowing they can’t water for another 3 or 4 days, people will give their gardens a really good soaking on the designated days even if they don’t need it. You can’t take a punt on whether it’ll rain or not overnight – you have to water, or risk your garden drying out before the next watering day.
Fear not, though, I have a solution!
Put a sprinkler in the vegie patch and get the kids to run through it. That seems to be an acceptable use of water. Your kids may even be able to earn extra pocket money running through sprinklers for your childless neighbours!