Auckland Council to change water restrictions for commercial water users

Water restrictions to change for commercial water users
Today (24 September 2020), Auckland Council approved phased amendments to the stage one water restrictions, starting with commercial users from 12 October. They will reassess stage one water restrictions for residential users in December.

In prioritising commercial water users, the councillors are acknowledging the economic impact of water restrictions on businesses, at a time when they are seriously impacted by COVID-19. They are also acknowledging that commercial water users consume less than residents, accounting for only 30 per cent of demand.

From 12 October 2020, commercial water users will be able to:
  • use a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle
  • use a regular hose for health, safety, emergency and biosecurity reasons
  • operate a car wash service
  • water sports fields, plants and paddocks using irrigation systems fitted with soil moisture sensors or rain sensors.
What is considered commercial water use?
For the purposes of these restrictions, commercial water use is water use associated with a taxable activity as defined by section 6 of the Goods and Services Tax Act 1985.

Are the stage one water restrictions changing for residential water users?
No. Auckland Council’s governing body will reassess stage one water restrictions for residents in December 2020.

Is Auckland still facing a water shortage?
Yes. The total volume of water stored in our dams is still below normal for this time of year, so it’s important that residents and businesses continue to use water wisely.
  • Residential water users: please continue to reduce your indoor water use by at least 20 litres a day, every day.
  • Commercial water users: please continue to reduce your indoor water use by at least 10%, compared with the same time last year.
Over winter, Aucklanders have responded very positively to our calls to reduce their water use with consumption targets being consistently met. Over the same period, we have made significant progress on projects to augment Auckland’s water supply. By summer, we will be able to produce an extra 40 million litres a day having expanded two treatment plants and returned a dam and bore to service.

The drop in water usage combined with the additional water supply gave us the confidence to ask Auckland Council to adjust stage one water restrictions ahead of summer.

Click here to read more about the changes.​

Click here for water saving tips and inspiration.

Other than water restrictions, how is Watercare responding to the drought?
Mandatory water restrictions are only one aspect of our drought response. We are also encouraging Aucklanders to reduce their water use indoors; we are drawing more water from the Waikato River and Onehunga Aquifer; we are returning a former dam and bore to service; and we are undertaking proactive leak detection and pressure management work.

Click here to find out more about how we are responding to the drought.