Tracking Auckland’s water use over summer


The visual above shows the current 7-day rolling average for 18 October 2020. Daily updates will be available here.

Today, we released a new visual to help Aucklanders monitor their collective water use over summer and remain focused on achieving savings.

Acting chief executive Marlon Bridge says this visual enables people to see whether the city’s total water use is comfortably within the target range, creeping up, or exceeding the target range. The white arrow in the visual indicates current water use, and is calculated based on a 7-day rolling average to accurately reflect Auckland’s consumption patterns.

“As we head into summer, it’s important we all continue to save water while our city recovers from the record-breaking drought,” says Bridge. “The water use visual lets people see at a glance how the city is tracking: if we’re using water wisely or if we need to tighten our belts to avoid more stringent water restrictions.”

“Over winter, Aucklanders saved a phenomenal four billion litres of water, compared with normal water use for the period. We are asking people to stay motivated and keep up the good work as the weather heats up.”

In February 2020, hot weather saw water use skyrocket – the highest volume being 568 million litres on Wednesday 19 February. Bridge says that people will need to be more mindful of their water use this coming summer, particularly over the hottest months. 

“The target range for next February is 0 to 511 million litres per day. This is easily achievable if everyone sticks to their four-minute showers and adheres to the outdoor water restrictions.”

Currently, the mandatory restrictions mean residents are not allowed to use hoses and water-blasting devices. They can water the garden and wash the car so long as they use watering cans and buckets. 

Bridge says Auckland Council’s governing body will review the restrictions for residential water users at the end of November, deciding on whether to maintain the status quo or to allow people to use handheld hoses fitted with trigger nozzles. Recently, they adjusted the restrictions for commercial water users. 

“Water restrictions are common across New Zealand in summer, with at least 25 towns and cities enforcing them each year,” says Bridge.

“As part of our agreement with Hamilton City Council to use some of their Waikato River water allocation, we are committed to water restrictions this summer. However, the nature of these restrictions can change depending on the stability of Auckland’s water supply. 

“Over the past few months, 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 two former water supplies to service. That’s enough to meet the needs of 130,000 people – a city the size of Tauranga.

“While spring got off to a dry start, the latest seasonal forecast is signalling a warmer and wetter summer than previously indicated. So that’s also good news.”

Today, Auckland’s water supply dams are collectively 67.80 per cent full. This is more than 23 per cent lower than the historical average for this time of year. Yesterday, Aucklanders used 395 million litres of water, which is well within the target range of 415 million litres of water a day or less. 

The water consumption visual will be communicated to Aucklanders through several channels including billboards, digital advertising, social media and Watercare’s website. 

Water use target ranges by month

Month Target range (based on rolling 7-day average)
October 2020 0-415 million litres a day
November 2020 0-433 million litres a day
December 2020 0-437 million litres a day
January 2021 0-461 million litres a day
February 2021 0-511 million litres a day
March 2021 0-465 million litres a day