Drought response

Stage one water restrictions are in place across Auckland

On 24 September 2020, Auckland Council decided to adjust the stage one water restrictions for commercial water users. The changes took effect on 12 October. 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.

Residential water users cannot:

  • Use an outdoor hose or water blasting device when connected to the metropolitan supply network.
Under the amended restrictions, 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.

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
water saving tips from a local hero

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

We've made water saving easy by putting all the top tips in one place. Our new website Water for Life shares stories and information about the water that sustains our growing city of Tāmaki Makaurau. The website was launched earlier this year 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 26 October-1 November 2-8 November 9-15 November
Hūnuas -25% 52% -12%
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 26 October-1 November 2-8 November 9-15 November
Waitākeres -18% 30% -12%
Rain gauges showing actual versus normal rainfall from Nov 2019 to 19 Oct 2020

Our cup needs topping up

From November 2019 to 27 October 2020, the average rainfall across all our rain gauges has been 1226.5 mm. In comparison, the normal rainfall we'd expect over that period is 1701mm. The deficit of 474.5mm 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.
  • We're working to return two former water sources – Hayes Creek Dam in Papakura and a bore in Pukekohe – to supply.

Auckland's water storage level

Total water storage

At 11.59pm on 30 October 2020 total water storage = 66.98%

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 5 Oct 67.29% 0mm 0.5mm
Mon 12 Oct 66.83% 0mm 0mm
Mon 19 Oct 67.80% 1mm 0mm
Mon 26 Oct 67.45% 0mm 0mm

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.