Hot, dry weather has taken its toll on Tauranga's water supply.
Tauranga City Council's monitoring showed water use has significantly increased, reaching the 50,000cu m a day threshold twice in the past two weeks.
Water restrictions would have to be considered if water usage remained above 50,000cu m a day. Restrictions have not been needed since water meters were introduced in 2000.
Tauranga residents have this year been using more water than in the previous two years. The trend of pressure on Tauranga's water supply would continue until the Waiari Water Supply Scheme came online in 2021.
Tauranga City Council water services team leader Peter Bahrs said the water shortage was primarily due to the cities growth, increased population and section development.
Lara Weston said her garden, which featured in last year's Garden and Art Trail, was coping with the dry, hot conditions - though her lawn had "crisped up a bit".
When she and her husband Isaac transformed their backyard into a special garden they made the conscious decision to choose plants that would not suck up huge amounts of water.
"We planted grasses, lavender - which enjoys the heat - herbs and strawberries - plants that provide a food source but not constant watering," said the Cool Plants owner.
Watering plants first thing in the morning or in the evening at the plant's source was a good way to conserve water and keep plants happy - it gave more time for the water to soak through the soil.
Mulch was also important to help conserve water in the Bay, with its hot dry winds, she said.
"Putting river stones, pebbles, bark or wood chipping on top helps keep moisture in and water costs down," Mrs Weston said.
Mrs Weston said finding secondary sources for water was a good idea to prevent draining the city supply.
"If you have a big roof, put a water tank under it to collect rain water when it falls or put in larger plants and under plant them for some shady areas."
Mr Bahrs said the council took a few things into consideration when calling for water conservation or restrictions.
They included the 10 day weather forecast and the operational status of the water supply system.
"If there are any issues with the network that would make it difficult to sustain levels in the supply reservoirs, that will be an important factor. There is no simple formula," he said.
What can residents do to conserve water?
Water plants early in the morning or evening and make sure you're watering plants rather than hard surfaces. If you need to wash the car, wash it on the lawn instead of the driveway; that waters the grass and prevents cleaning products flowing into the stormwater system.