After three long, hot and very dry summers in a row, Tauranga City Council is front-footing the inevitable water restrictions this year with a new plan.
Instead of waiting until demand outstrips supply, the council is proactively introducing a sprinkler ban from December 1 to the end of April.
"Tauranga city gets its water from two spring-fed streams, the Waiorohi and the Tautau which feeds our Joyce Rd plant," Peter Bahrs, water services manager for Tauranga City Council said.
"The challenge is that we don't have any water storage unlike Auckland that has dams.
"As a result, we're going into summer at an all-time low in terms of what we've seen historically in these streams."
The restrictions are part of the council's new Water Watchers plan, which hopes to curb the 30 per cent increase in outdoor water use traditionally seen over summer.
The new approach is based on water conservation strategies currently being used in Australia, council's Hannah Sherratt said.
"They've been in water shortage situations for a long time. They use this proactive approach and we've taken some of their learnings and from our own restriction periods and put it into our new Water Watchers plan."
But what council really wants is for everybody to start thinking differently about how we use water.
"We're encouraging watering in the evening. Previously it used to be in the morning and evening, so that's a new shift," Sherratt said.
"It's making sure the water has time to get into the ground overnight and it's not being evaporated by the sun."
Find out what you can and can't water, and when, on the council's website.