The Far North District Council has lifted its water restrictions in Kaikohe another notch, as the town's groundwater supply continues to show the effects of a drier than usual winter and spring.

The council said last week that the groundwater level, under Monument Hill, was continuing to fall to "concerning" levels, prompting the imposition of Level 3 restrictions for all residential and business customers, as from last Thursday. It was now illegal to use garden hoses, sprinklers, or any irrigation device. Water blasting and filling swimming pools from the mains supply were also banned.

General manager infrastructure and asset management Andy Finch said the groundwater supply had not recharged over winter to levels normally expected for this time of year.

"Water levels at Monument Hill are already close to our consented limit," he said.

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"We'd expect the level to be much higher at this time of year. This week, readings have shown groundwater levels dropping with summer just around the corner and no significant rain forecast over the long term."

Level 2 restrictions, which had already been in place, had helped to conserve the supply, and Mr Finch said the council was undertaking leak detection for major water users connected to the town's supply. It had also directed bulk water carriers supplying homes and businesses not connected to the town supply to take water from an alternative source.

Go to the Be Waterwise (Whakanuia to whakaaro ki te wai) website for tips on how to save water and for more information about current Far North water restrictions, and phone 0800 920-029 to tell the council about leaks or breaches of water restrictions.

The council can grant exemptions to water restrictions in exceptional circumstances, but applicants need to demonstrate significant hardship and have no practical alternative water source.

Go to www.fndc.govt.nz/savewater for details and to apply for an exemption.