Auckland’s water supply in strong position for summer with dams full, river high

Lower Nihotupu Dam
Photo: Lower Nihotupu Dam

Auckland’s dams are full and there’s plenty of water flowing through the Waikato River, putting Tāmaki Makaurau’s water supply in a very strong position for the start of summer.
Head of production Peter Rogers says recent dousings of rain have put Auckland’s total dam storage just shy of 100% [99.94% as of 7am]
“In November about double the normal rain fell in Tāmaki Makaurau so now all of our 10 dams are full, and the Waikato River is flowing at great rates – it’s as good as it gets for our key water sources as we head into summer.
“Weather forecasters are predicting a hot summer and relatively normal rainfall, with decent dry spells broken up with a tropical storm from time to time.”
Regardless of dam and river levels, we will be continuing to encourage our customers to be mindful of their water use.
“Water consumption always rises in summer, as people spend more time outdoors maintaining their properties, watering their gardens or cooling off in a paddling pool,” Rogers says. “Sometimes the city’s water demand can go up as much as 100 million litres on a hot, dry day, compared to our average usage. This puts pressure on our treatment plants and networks.
“We’re not asking people to stop using water outside – just try not to let your hose go wild, and if you are going to fill up a paddling pool, why not pour the water on your garden when you’re done.”
Using a hose for half an hour in Auckland typically uses about 450 litres and costs about *$2.
Leaks in both the public water network and private pipes also increase in summer, as the ground dries up, soil retracts from pipes and causes them to crack.
“Our crews will be flat out trying to stay on top of leaks in our public network, so if you do come across what you think might be a water leak, please report it on our website so we can fix it as soon as possible.
“And keep an eye out for potential leaks at home too – even a dripping tap could be wasting more than 30 litres a day.”
Five tips for mindful water use:
  • Keep your showers short – four minutes or less should be plenty.
  • Attach a trigger nozzle to your garden hose, to reduce wastage
  • Use a bucket of water to wash your car, then rinse it with the hose.
  • Cool off the kids with water pistols or reusable water balloons, instead of under the sprinkler
  • Check your home for leaks.