A sprinkler ban has been put in place for Tauranga after the city's water usage peaked last week.
Hot and dry conditions and high demand for water meant that the city's water supply was running thirsty, Tauranga City Council said.
Residents were asked to completely stop using all sprinklers and irrigation systems until further notice.
The city's current water demand was up by 40 per cent on normal average water use.
Average usage during the year was around 41 million litres per day, however, last Monday demand hit 58 million litres per day.
This was the highest use on record since water meters were installed.
Residents could continue to water their gardens, by hand-held hose between 5am and 8am, and from 7pm to 10pm.
City waters manager Stephen Burton said that the hot and dry days meant water usage started climbing as early as November.
"The absence of rain in the foreseeable future means we now need to place a ban on the use of all sprinklers", he said.
Restrictions were necessary when usage of drinking water was above the threshold of 50 million litres, for more than five days in a row with no significant rain in the foreseeable forecast.
"Our water treatment plants are under a lot of pressure during summer. There's a limit to the amount of drinking water we are able to treat in a day and in the last fortnight we've been getting close to that limit," Burton said.
He said as temperatures were set to peak next week, it was time to take action
Sprinkler restrictions aim to reduce outdoor water use to avoid the need for more stringent measures.
The next step would be a hose ban.
Tauranga City Council was investing $150 million in the development of the new Waiāri water treatment plant to provide relief for the city's drinking water supply.