Despite recent rainfall, Northland is still suffering the effects of last summer’s drought and many areas have recorded less winter rainfall than normal.

This means there is an increased chance of another drought this summer, so please use water wisely. Check here for regular updates on any water restrictions in your area and what you can do to conserve this precious resource.

There are water-saving tips at the bottom of this page to help households conserve water.

Click below for updates about compulsory water restrictions for the Far North, Whangarei or Kaipara Districts.

Are there water restrictions in your area?

So what do the levels mean?


There are no restrictions on the use of water.

You may:

Water your garden with a hose, sprinkler, irrigation system
or watering can

Use a hose, bucket or water blaster to wash vehicles,
windows, buildings and paved areas

Fill or top up a swimming pool from the mains water supply


Water restrictions are in place.

You may:

Use a watering can or hose with a trigger nozzle
to water gardens

Use a bucket, water blaster or hose to wash vehicles,
windows, buildings and paved areas

Fill or top up a swimming pool from the mains water supply

You may not:

Use a sprinkler or irrigation system to water your garden


Water restrictions are in place.

You may:

Use a watering can to water gardens

Use a bucket to wash vehicles, windows, buildings
and paved areas

You may not:

Use a sprinkler, irrigation system or hose to water
your garden

Use a trigger nozzle hose, hand-held open hose or water
blaster to wash vehicles, windows, buildings and paved areas

Fill any swimming pool from the mains supply


Full water restrictions are in place.

You may:

Use water for drinking and cooking

Use water to wash clothes and take showers

You may not:

Use water anywhere outside

Water saving tips


Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving.

Take fewer, shorter showers. Get yourself wet then turn off the tap to soap up, and turn it back on to rinse off.

Use less water in the bath, or take a short shower instead. A bath can use up to 80 litres of water, while a shower normally uses less than half that.

Use the half-flush system, or reduce the flush-water quantity by displacing water in the cistern with a part-filled bottle or a brick.

Flush the toilet less often.


Store a bottle of drinking water in the fridge to help avoid running more water than you need for a glass of water.

Put the plug in the sink when washing vegetables and avoid running the tap. Save this water to use on the garden.

Use the dishwasher for full loads only. Each load uses 40 to 80 litres of water.

Look for the AAA Water Conservation rating when purchasing new appliances.


Wait until you have a full load of washing or make sure you set the machine for smaller loads. A full washing machine uses about 150 litres of water in just one wash.


Mulch your garden with grass clippings or compost. Mulching can prevent up to 70% of water loss through evaporation. The best mulch is well-rotted compost which will also improve the soil’s ability to hold moisture.

A hose running at full volume uses 2000 litres of water per hour. Use watering cans or grey-water from indoors instead (eg used dishwater, bathwater etc).

Don’t let the children play with the hose, water-balloons or buckets of water. Water pistols are OK - or go for a swimming trip to cool off.

Do not use sprinklers - these are an inefficient way to water your garden, particularly on a hot day. Tend to your watering so you can make sure the water only goes where it is needed.

Noticed water going to waste?

If you spot a water leak, contact your local Council immediately.

See a sprinkler left on?

Let us know and we will check it out – and don’t worry, your details will be kept confidential.

Contact your local Council


Memorial Avenue

+64 9 401 5200


Forum North, Rust Avenue

+64 9 430 4200


Hokianga Road

0800 727 059

Stop those leaks!

Check your property for lost water

Leaks waste water 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A dripping tap can waste up to 3600 litres a year – that’s more than a full bath a week.


  • Taps and pipes for leaks. If you have a header tank in your house make sure the plumbing is kept in good repair. Don’t let the header tank overflow.
  • Your toilet flushing system and the overflow pipe on the outside wall for leaks.
  • Your hot water cylinder overflow pipe (on the roof.) If the ajax valve isn’t working properly, the cylinder will leak hot water – a waste of both water and electricity.
  • The property for greener than usual patches of lawn or garden – they may indicate a leak underground.

If the toilet leaks or a tap drips, fix it right away.


Do the two-hour test


  1. Double check that all taps are turned off.
  2. Record your water meter reading on a sheet of paper. Note the time at which you read the meter.
  3. For the next two hours, do not open any taps, flush the toilet, use hot water, or do anything that uses the water supply.
  4. Record the water meter reading after two hours. Note the time at which you read the meter.
  5. If you have not used any water during the two-hour test period, the two meter readings should be the same. If the readings are different you may have a water leak in your system.
  6. If you believe there is a leak, call a plumber to investigate and remedy the problem.