THE NSW Government has vowed to investigate the inconsistency of water restrictions being imposed on residents by local councils across the state.
Water Minister Melinda Pavey said she had "struggled" for several months to understand variations in water restriction guidelines across the state.
She said once the drought was over she would look into improving consistency of restrictions across local government areas.
"I think post-this drought that is one of the things we need to look at, a consistency around what water restrictions mean right across the state," she said during a visit to the Central West this week.
One of our major learnings from this drought [is] to get some certainty and some consistency around the water levels and the restriction levels.Melinda Pavey, NSW Water minister
"We're on Level 2 on December 10 in Sydney unless it rains.
"And Level 2 in Sydney means you can't still use a hose. So it might sound like it's not as strong as a Level 3 in the bush but it could very well be.
"I think there is a lack of knowledge and a lack of certainty around the different levels and the different numbers on the water restrictions."
Under Level 2 restrictions residents of Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra are able to water their gardens every day before 10 am and after 4pm, but only with a watering can or bucket.
That makes Sydney's Level 2 restrictions more restrictive than Bathurst's original Level 3 restrictions which still allowed lawns and gardens to be watered by hose.
Bathurst is now on Level 4 restrictions.
Ms Pavey said a more consistent system was needed.
"I'm focused on making sure we extend our water supplies but going forward that is certainly going to be one of our major learnings from this drought to get some certainty and some consistency around the water levels and the restriction levels," she said.
Ms Pavey said the drought had created awareness among authorities.
"I think the drought has given us the opportunity to really think about how we do things," she said.
"And when you are under pressure, when you are under stress, you really do have to come up with solutions."
Ms Pavey said the government would continue to provide drought help for regional communities.
"We want some rain and we need some rain desperately," she said.
"We are in challenging times, we are here to help, we are from the government."