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Groundwater, springs and rivers

Your water may come from a river, groundwater or springs – it depends on where you live.


If you live in metropolitan Auckland, some of your water comes from the Waikato River.

Waikato River water

The Waikato is New Zealand’s longest river and flows 425 kilometres from Mt Ruapehu to the Tasman Sea at Port Waikato. It’s been an important part of Auckland’s water supply network since 2002.

How much Waikato River water do we use?

It depends on the season. But, since the Waikato 50 treatment plant was built in 2021, we can take as much as 225 million litres of water a day if we need it.

About water treatment

Aerial photo of Waikato River and the intake for Watercare's Waikato Water Treatment Plant with farmland in the distance

Hoteo River

If you live in Wellsford, your water comes from the headwaters of the Hoteo River.

Groundwater and springs

Some communities in Auckland receive water from underground aquifers.

What are aquifers?

Much of Auckland’s rain filters down and fills up pores between grains of sand and fissures in the rock. These sources of water are called underground aquifers.

These communities get their treated water from groundwater or springs:

  • Muriwai
  • Algies Bay
  • Snells Beach
  • Bombay
  • Waiuku
  • Warkworth

About groundwater

Water hardness

All Auckland water contains minerals, but mineral content varies depending on the water source. Groundwater is likely to have more minerals than river or spring water because it seeps into the aquifer through rock.

Learn how to reduce water hardness at home