Drought response

Stage one water restrictions are now in place

Residential water users cannot:

  • Use an outdoor hose or water blaster.
Commercial and other non-domestic water users cannot:
  • Use an outdoor hose or water blaster unless it is for a health, safety, emergency or biosecurity reason
  • Operate a car wash unless it uses recycled water
  • Water sports fields, plants or paddocks unless they have an irrigation system that is fitted with soil moisture or rain sensors.

A couple of important points:

  • If you have a rain water or grey water tank you can use that water as you wish ie: you can connect a hose to those tanks and wash your car or boat etc.
  • The restrictions only apply when connected to the metropolitan water supply network.

If you're unsure whether the restrictions apply to you, click the image below to view our metropolitan supply map.

To find out more about residential or commercial water restrictions, click the relevant button below.

About the drought

Since the start of the year, the region has received significantly less rainfall than normal. This is having a big impact on our water supply. On 15th April, the total volume of water stored in our dams dropped below 50 per cent for the first time in more than 25 years. We desperately need to preserve what’s left. Please use water wisely and reduce wastage of this precious resource by:

  • Keeping your showers short (four minutes or less)
  • Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when they’re full
  • Don’t wash your car
  • Don’t water blast your house
  • Don’t hose your lawn
One thing we do want you to do is keep washing your hands to combat COVID-19.

Want to do your bit and become a water saving superhero?

Click the photo above for more information on why you should be saving 20 litres a day and how easy it is to do your bit.


The information below provides insight into the seriousness of the drought and why restrictions are needed.

Rainfall in scarce supply

The four week weather forecast from the MetService indicates that this week will remain dry, with rain turning up next week and potentially the week after. However, with much less rainfall than we usually expereince at this time of year, our region’s water supply will remain under strain.

Rainfall (percentage more or less than normal)
Ranges 25-31 May 1-7 June 8-14 June
Waitakere 37% 7% -7%
Hūnua 59% 15% -9%

Click to enlarge the graph to the left which shows this year's rainfall in the Hūnuas compared to normal rainfall.

Dam storage levels continue to slide

Tuesday 26th May 2020
Total water storage = 42.92%

Our dams in the Hūnua and Waitakere Ranges rely on rainfall to replenish water stores. Unfortunately, that hasn't been happening on a regular basis over the past few months. As you can see from the table below, our total water storage has continued to decline over the past three weeks.
Date Total storage Rainfall in Lower Huia Rainfall in Mangatangi
Mon 11 May 45.5 0 0
Mon 18 May 43.93 0 0
Mon 25 May 42.45% 13.5mm 11mm

The table to the left shows how our current storage level (in orange) compares to the historical average (blue) of 76.65% for this time of year.

As dam levels continue to drop, we're maximising production elsewhere

  • To reduce the demand on our water storage dams, we are maximising production at our Waikato and Onehunga treatment plants.
  • We're working to return two former water sources – Hayes Creek Dam in Papakura and a bore in Pukekohe – to supply.

Contributions from the Waikato River

We currently have resource consent to take 150,000 cubic metres of water each day from the Waikato River. A further resource consent application to increase that volume was submitted several years ago. We are awaiting the outcome of that application. The table below gives an idea of the volume of Waikato River water we use (once treated) to supply Auckland with Aa-grade tap water on a daily basis.

Date Total volume of water used (cubic metres)
Wed 20 May 150,108
Thur 21 May 151,485
Fri 22 May 151,547
Sat 23 May 152,776
Sun 24 May 152,714

If you would like to report the misuse of water, please click here.

If you have a question that is not covered by our FAQs, please click here.