Whangārei District Council will decide later this week whether to impose Level 3 water restrictions as dam levels continue to plummet.

Water services manager Andrew Venmore said a little bit of rain was forecast this week and he'd see how much of an impact it has on dam levels before deciding on restrictions.

Level 2 restrictions have been in force in Whangārei since February 26 while much tighter limits on water take are in place in the Far North and Kaipara districts.

"The earliest we can make a decision is at the end of this week. Water levels in dams has slowed down a little bit but not as much as summer. We need on average, more than 100mm of rain per month for the next seven months to make a difference.


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As at midday yesterday, Whau Valley Dam was 54 per cent full while the water level at Wilsons Dam 63 per cent.

Two other dams, the Gomez Dam at Hikurangi and Takahiwai Dam at Ruakaka, are not currently in use but are available in emergencies.

Venmore said WDC was pumping 40 cu m of water from the Hatea River at present to supplement supplies.

NIWA records show just 63mm of rain fell in Whangārei last month.

Meanwhile, in the Far North Level 4 water restrictions banning all but essential use for cooking, washing and drinking remain in force in Kaitaia, Kaikohe, Rawene-Ōmanaia and Kawakawa-Moerewa.

Restrictions in Paihia-Waitangi-Ōpua were eased this morning to Level 3, which means residents can now use hand-held hoses to water their gardens.

Kerikeri-Waipapa and Ōpononi-Ōmapere are also at Level 3 while in Ōkaihau only sprinklers and automated irrigation systems are banned (Level 2).


The Far North District Council is continuing to urge residents to make 25 per cent water savings while WDC is asking for 20 per cent savings to prevent tighter restrictions.

In the Kaipara, every one of the district's water schemes — Dargaville, Baylys Beach, Maungaturoto, Ruawai, Mangawhai and Glinks Gully — remains under strict Level 4 restrictions.

Worsening dry conditions prompted the Government to declare a drought in Northland on February 11, with an $80,000 support package for farmers.