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He aha e take nui ai te wai?

Why is water so important?

Water – our taonga, our treasure. It permeates our lives and sustains our land as it journeys through this beautiful place. Discover the never-ending story of Auckland’s water.

A drone image of Upper Mangatawhiri Dam.

Water is precious

In te reo Māori, the greeting "Ko wai koe?" has two interpretations. The direct translation is "Who are you?" while the symbolic translation is "Are you water?" or "What waters define who you are?"

These translations reflect how important water is to all of us. It makes us, flows through us, connects us and plays a core role in Auckland’s wellbeing and infrastructure. Each of us uses water every day for drinking, washing, cooking, playing in and for keeping ourselves clean.

So, where does Auckland’s water come from? How does it flow into and out of our buildings? What can we do to conserve this precious resource in dry times, and how do we manage it when there’s too much?

Water’s journey through Auckland

Water allows every great city to grow and thrive. At Watercare, we supply more than 1.7 million people with safe, treated drinking water from our local rivers, dams and aquifers and reliable wastewater services.

Across Auckland we operate:

  • 26 water sources
  • 15 water treatment plants
  • 85 reservoirs to store water (concrete tanks)
  • 9432 kilometres of water pipes

image for Our water sources

Our water sources

Where does Auckland’s water come from?

Woman holding glass of water.

Water collection and treatment

How we produce safe drinking water

Let's be waterwise

Each of us can help conserve Auckland’s precious water supplies by making simple changes to the way we use water in our homes, gardens and businesses.

Making every drop count

Prolonged extreme weather events affect all our water sources. When it’s very hot and dry people often use more water, especially in the garden as they look after thirsty plants. When rain pours down, we need the wastewater system to carry excess water without flooding.

While the weather is out of our control, how we use water is very much in our hands.

Dry weather can cause our water storage level to drop. You can help us save water and make sure we all have enough water when we need it by:

  • Turning off the tap while washing vegetables or brushing teeth
  • Taking shorter showers
  • Reusing water
  • Knowing when and how to water your garden

When it rains, water pours off every roof and down every drainpipe. To keep the wastewater system clean and clear you can:

  • Keep fat, oil and unflushable items like wet wipes out the drainage system by disposing of them correctly
  • Make sure your home and work have compliant gully traps and downpipes

Want to know more about keeping our water flowing? We’re here to help.