Aucklanders set new water consumption record


Upper Mangatawhiri Dam, Hūnua Ranges (Tuesday, 21st January 2020)

Aucklanders used a record-breaking 538 million litres of water yesterday ― three million litres more than the previous record set on 13 February 2019.
As the mercury rose (from 26 degrees at Māngere Bridge to 28 degrees at Whangaparaoa), so did consumption. Watercare's head of production, Peter Rogers, says people often use more on hot days because they head outdoors to water their gardens, clean their cars and play under the hose: “Sometimes, people can let their hoses run wild on hot days. But, that’s not the only reason for yesterday’s peak."
"At this time of year, many people are coming back from summer holidays and getting ready for school. At the same time, industries are also ramping up production.”
Auckland’s total water storage is currently 75 per cent. While this is lower than normal for this time of year, it's because the city’s reticulated water supply situation is stable.
“We are lucky that we have a range of water sources – dams, rivers and aquifers. At the moment, we’re drawing more water from the Waikato River and from the Onehunga aquifer in order to preserve the water stored in our dams,” says Rogers.
While Auckland has enough water, high peaks in demand can prove challenging.
“On hot days, the challenge is getting the water through our network to our customers. For example, if it’s hot in Whangaparaoa and demand is high, we have to get a lot more water from our treatment plants in south or west Auckland all the way north.”
Since 1st January, only 12mm of rain has fallen in the Hūnua Ranges, where Auckland’s largest dams are located. The Waitākere Ranges, home to five smaller dams, has received 20mm of rain. This is significantly less than the monthly averages of 100mm and 105mm respectively.
Metservice is predicting the dry weather will continue over the next seven days. 
Next month, we'll be running a campaign to educate Aucklanders about being mindful of their water use, particularly on hot days.
In the meantime, we have some useful tips on how to reduce water consumption inside the home and in the garden. Using less water saves you money and is good for the environment. Click here for our waterwise tips.
Quick facts:
  • Aucklanders are the most efficient water users in New Zealand (2016 Water NZ performance review)
  • 80% of Auckland’s water comes from dams in the Hūnua and Waitākere ranges. They receive about 1.8 metres of rain annually – about 50 per cent more than central Auckland
  • The dams are currently 75% full
  • Low rainfall is not uncommon for Auckland for this time of year.

Water summary for the week ending Sunday 26th January
Total storage: 75.72%
Historical average: 85.78%
Rainfall Last 7 days Month to date Historical monthly average
Waitākere Ranges (Reading taken at Lower Huia Dam) 0.5 mm 15 mm 100 mm
Hūnua Ranges (Reading taken at Upper Mangatawhiri Dam) 0 mm 12 mm 105 mm