Drought response

Stage one water restrictions are in place across Auckland

On 26 November 2020, Auckland Council’s governing body voted to adjust mandatory water restrictions for residential water users. From 14 December 2020, residents can:

  • Use hand-held hoses and water blasting devices so long as they are fitted with trigger nozzles.
Commercial water users can:
  • 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.
  • The restrictions apply when connected to the metropolitan water supply network.
  • 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/vehicle, boat etc.

If you're wanting to report a person or company for misusing water, click the button below.

Unsure whether the residential restrictions apply to you? Click the map to view our metropolitan supply area.

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

residential drought FAQs

commercial drought FAQs

About the drought

Since the beginning of 2020, Auckland has received significantly less rainfall than normal. This has had a big impact on our water supply. On 15th April 2020, the total volume of water stored in our dams dropped below 50 per cent for the first time in more than 25 years. We 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
water saving tips from a local hero

Water for Life is your go-to site for water saving

We've made water saving easy by putting all the top tips in one place. Our website Water for Life shares stories and information about the water that sustains our growing city of Tāmaki Makaurau. The website was launched in 2020 when Auckland was in the grips of the worst drought on record. With our total water storage nowhere near where it should be, we still need everyone to save water, and that’s where Water for Life comes in. You'll meet local water saving heroes like Brent who'll share their tips for reusing and conserving water. Plus, our online resources will offer Aucklanders a better understanding of why we all need to treat water as precious.

Visit the website and start your water saving journey

Hunua rainfall from November 2019 to date

Current rainfall and the forecast

Rainfall is crucial to replenishing our dams. Between November 2019 and May 2020, Auckland received 40 per cent less rain than normal. The Hūnua rainfall graph shows normal rainfall versus actual for this time of year. The Hūnua Ranges is our biggest catchment area with dams covering 534 hectares.

The table below shows the likelihood of rain in the coming weeks. A negative figure (-) indicates a less than normal chance of rain, whereas a positive indicates a higher than normal chance of rain.
Ranges 12-18 April 19-25 April 26 April-2 May 3-9 May
Hūnuas -11% 17% 8% -14%
Waitakere rainfall from November 2019 to date

Waitākere rainfall from November 2019 to date

Click to enlarge the Waitākere rainfall graph to see this year's rainfall to date compared to normal rainfall over the same period.

The table below shows the likelihood of rain in the coming weeks. A negative figure (-) indicates a less than normal chance of rain, whereas a positive indicates a higher than normal chance of rain.
Ranges 12-18 April 19-25 April 26 April-2 May 3-9 May
Waitākeres -4% 17% 7% -4%
Rain gauges showing actual versus normal rainfall from Nov 2019 to 12 April 2021

Our cup needs topping up

From November 2019 to 12 April 2021, the average rainfall across all our rain gauges has been 1715mm. In comparison, the normal rainfall we'd expect over that period is 2354mm. The deficit of 639mm has had quite an impact on our water storage.

Click to enlarge the animated rain gauges.

Note: Cumulative rainfall data can be adjusted up or down during the monthly verification process.

Fun facts about our dams

  • Our dams in the Hūnua Ranges are by far the biggest - combined they cover 534 hectares. Our Hunua dams make up 60 per cent of Auckland’s water.
  • Our dams in the Waitākere Ranges cover 162 hectares and make up 20 per cent of Auckand's water.

As dam levels continue to ebb and flow, 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.
  • Hayes Creek Dam in Papakura and a bore in Pukekohe have now been brought back into service.

Auckland water usage level

Total water storage

At 11.59pm on 16 April 2021 total water storage = 51.55%

Our total water storage is the combined volume of water currently available across our dams. The water storage graph shows how our current storage is tracking against the historical average. The table below shows our total water storage on each respective Monday (eg: 27 July). It also shows the 24hr rainfall (to midnight on the respective Sunday) across our two main catchments.
Date Total water storage (%) 24 hr rainfall in Lower Huia catchment (Waitakeres) 24hr rainfall in Mangatangi catchment (Hūnuas)
Mon 22 March 54.44% 0mm 0mm
Monday 29 March 52.84% 0.5mm 0mm
Monday 6 April 51.90% 0mm 0.5mm
Monday 12 April 51.41% 1.5mm 5mm