The Far North District Council is offering free plumber visits to Kaikohe residents, to a maximum of $300, to find and fix water leaks on their properties at the council's expense.
That's the latest move to encourage the town to reduce its water consumption by 25 per cent. The same plea has been issued in Kaitaia, with no appreciable effect so far.
The council's general manager infrastructure and asset management, Andy Finch, said reducing consumption by 25 per cent would give Kaikohe's supply a "fighting chance" of continuing to function. It was also designed to reduce the risk of having to impose Level 4 restrictions, which would allow water from the council supply to be used only for cooking, drinking and washing.
All outdoor use of water would be banned.
The Northland Age asked the council on Tuesday if Level 4 restrictions were looming, but the question went unanswered.
Meanwhile Mr Finch said Kaikohe's Wairoro Stream and Monument Hill bore had both reached extremely low levels.
"We want to avoid imposing Level 4 restrictions on the community but ... forecasters are unable to give us any good news about future rainfall. The truth is, we'd need several weeks of sustained rain to replenish what the last 12 months have taken out of our streams and groundwater," he said.
He had earlier told the Northland Age that the long-range forecast was predicting no significant rain until May.
Meanwhile council staff were in contact with major water users in the Kaikohe area to find ways to reduce consumption and waste, and everyone had a role to play.
"This is an opportunity for the community to make a difference. If demand for water in Kaikohe is reduced by 25 per cent over the next two weeks, our treatment plants and water sources stand a fighting chance of maintaining supply for all users," Mr Finch said.
"If you find a leak on your property, we will get you a plumber to diagnose and fix the problem."
Meanwhile a Kaikohe resident told the Northland Age on Tuesday that she had just reported a leak in the town's main street for the third time.
"I was told that they were trying to get someone to fix it," she said.
Another leak had been marked with paint as on private property, and had still not been repaired, while it had taken three phone calls to the council before an overflowing trough on the cycleway that had lost enough water to create a large pond, had been repaired.