Up to 17 Orange residents are in the firing line to be the first people fined for abusing water restrictions.
Orange City Council spokesman Nick Redmond said the 17 had been sent 'please-explain' letters after they had been detected not following the tough Level 5 rules.
Mr Redmond said if council did not receive a legitimate answer the people would be fined within weeks.
"We have written to 17 people," he said.
"If we don't get a satisfactory reason we will be issuing fines."
The fines range from $220 up to $2000.
If we don't get a satisfactory reason we will be issuing fines.Nick Redmond, Orange City Council spokesman
Mr Redmond said all of the people sent letters were at residential addresses and not businesses.
He said there had been a "steady number of complaints" from Orange residents about other people not following the water restrictions and council's water ranger was also keeping check.
Mr Redmond said that had led to 29 warning letters being sent out in December.
"Council's water ranger is also doing face-to-face visits to talk to with residents where there's a concern," he said.
"In the vast majority of cases, people are pleased to co-operate and to get to the cause of the problem."
Under Level 5 restrictions only one hour of garden watering is allowed every week.
Residents can only water between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm on Sundays.
You can use a hand-held trigger hose for a maximum of 30 minutes and you can also use buckets and watering cans and drip irrigation systems.
However, the use of soaker hoses, sprinklers or micro-sprays is banned, as is washing cars, watering lawns or hard surfaces and filling pools and inflatable pools.
The crackdown in Orange follows similar moves in neighbouring cities.
In Bathurst, mayor Bobby Bourke told the Western Advocate "around three" people have been fined.
Another Bathurst man last week said he expected to be fined after a video of him hosing his driveway was posted on social media.
In Dubbo and Wellington council rangers have been issued with body cameras as part of a crackdown on people on non-compliance.
Dubbo Regional Council CEO Michael McMahon said up to 40 warnings had been issued for people not complying with restrictions and some were repeat offenders.
"We've given out one or two warnings to people and if we catch them again they'll be fined. I don't like applying the stick but the majority of people out there who are doing the right things should be rewarded, the people who are doing the wrong thing should be challenged," he told the Daily Liberal.
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