Despite Monday's deluge water restrictions have started in Napier as the city council looks to limit risks imposed by low rainfall over recent months and an expected increase in demand amid forecasts for a hot summer.
The restrictions took effect on Monday, three weeks earlier on the calendar than last year when restrictions were imposed at the end of the month, before what the council said at the time was the first "official" day of summer on December 1.
Sprinklers and hoses can now only be used from 6am-8am and 7pm-9pm, on properties with even street numbers on days with even numbers, and odd-numbered properties on the odd-numbered dates.
A council statement said that every summer the city's water usage increased, putting Napier's reservoirs under pressure, increasing the possibility of water levels becoming critical.
The precariousness of the situation is highlighted in contrasts revealed in Hawke's Bay Regional Council monthly rainfall reports, highlighting average rainfall across the region last month was only half that of October 2019.
The rainfall last month averaged 90 per cent of average calculated over the past 30 years, and following a year of mainly below-average month rainfall, but in October 2019 it was 186 per cent.
Napier City Council infrastructure services director Jon Kingsford said: "Since August our overall average water use has been higher than for the same period of time last year.
"In combination with less rainfall than expected recently, and Niwa's prediction that summer temperatures will be hotter than normal," he said, "we need to be prepared, which means we all need to use less."
He said the city needed to have enough water stored for firefighting needs, and in case of an emergency, such as a major leak in a drinking water main.
The council will also be doing its bit, changing the watering regimes for parks and gardens to reduce water use.
Councils two weeks ago launched a water conservation campaign, "Saving H2O is the way to go", which shares tips showing how small actions can be "very" effective.
Reservoir levels are monitored daily and weather forecasts closely monitored, in case restrictions have to be taken to the next level.
Water restrictions have been imposed by NCC in the past, and are not usually lifted until autumn.
• For more information on water restrictions, go to www.napier.govt.nz #waterestrictions