Water supply situation

Auckland's water supply is currently stable

That means Auckland is in the water is precious stage where we encourage everyone to use water wisely

What does stable mean?

We have sufficient water to get us through the near to medium term. But, as we all know, situations can change quickly and dramatically. Two consecutive years of low rainfall in 2019 and 2020 showed everyone how fast water storage levels can fall, especially when combined with high levels of demand during hot dry summers. 

This section of our website provides you with information about the actions we take to maintain drought resilience, what triggers the use of water restrictions, and what to expect if Auckland Council introduces any form of restrictions.

The drips at the bottom of the page let you navigate between each stage of water restrictions, so you can see what each means for you, your family or business.

What we're doing to remain resilient

There are three components that work together to help Auckland remain resilient. These components are often referred to as ‘levers’ and by adjusting one or two of the levers, strain on our water supply can be relieved. If at any time we become concerned that the three levers are not providing enough resilience and Auckland is in the initial stages of a drought, we will advise Auckland Council and may prepare to put in place water restrictions, under the Council’s instruction.

The levers are listed below

Water supply

Increasing supply has involved securing a consent to draw more water from the Waikato River, and returning a dam and groundwater source to service. Water treatment plants have also been upgraded and new ones built.


Reducing demand is the responsibility of all water consumers. We encourage everyone, regardless of whether Auckland is in a drought to always use water wisely.

System operation

The Waikato River, dams and groundwater sources are utilised through an integrated model that allows us to extend the total volume of water in Auckland’s dams for as long as possible during a hydrological drought. Our proactive leak detection programme works across Auckland suburbs to identify and fix hidden leaks, taking strain off the network.

drought management plan 2023

Click here to read the drought management plan

The plan is reviewed every two years and/or after each drought event and/or after changes in our operating environment or the planning framework. This provides an assurance that the plan is up-to-date and effective.

The plan is tactical and is a document to guide our team. We are required to meet two levels of service. Put simply, we must ensure: 

  • We can meet demand while keeping the total dam storage level above 15%.

  • There is no more than a 5% chance of restrictions being needed in any given year.

The plan also details the role you and your whānau play in using water wisely and provides information on how and when we communicate water restrictions to you. The plan applies to all customers who use water from our networks – that includes people who rely on private tankers that source water from our network.

What we need you to do now

Please use water wisely

Even though our water supply is stable, water should not be wasted. With Auckland being a coastal city, water can often seem like it is abundant, but tap water is not an infinite resource. As our population grows, the demand for tap water is rising. Auckland is projected to grow at a rate of 1.8 per cent per year, with approximately 6,000 new residential water connections per year. Add to that the impacts of climate change: over the coming years, our region will face increasing extreme weather conditions. That, along with a rise in demand for water during hot and dry periods, will put our water supply under strain.

While we are focusing on delivering infrastructure that enables us to meet our population’s needs, new infrastructure costs money and its construction has an impact on community wellbeing as well as the environment. We’re asking for everyone to use water wisely so we can make the most of our existing infrastructure, you can save money on your water bill, and we can all treasure this precious resource.

Working towards water efficiency

Unlike previous water efficiency plans, our 2021-2025 plan has a different purpose. Rather than seeking to achieve our water efficiency target as a means to defer investment in a new source, we instead want Aucklanders and the local environment to thrive. If we use and re-use water wisely while reducing wastage, this is achievable. By partnering with local communities, we want residential water use to reduce to 481 litres per connection by 2025. We’re on the right track, we just need to keep going. Our water efficiency microsite details the plan, the work we’re doing as a company, our commercial and residential targets and what we can achieve together.

Click here to read more

Click the drops to reveal each restriction stage
Water is precious
Preparing for drought
Stage 1 water restrictions
Stage 2 water restrictions
Stage 3 water restrictions
Stage 4 water restrictions