The Far North District Council imposed Level 2 water restrictions in Kaitaia and Kawakawa-Moerewa last week, as river flows fell and with little prospect of significant rain over the next two weeks.
The restriction prohibits the use of unattended garden hoses, sprinklers and irrigation devices by households and businesses connected to council water supplies.
Acting CEO William Taylor said Kaitaia's Awanui River and the Tirohanga Stream at Kawakawa had not recovered well from the 2019/20 drought.
"While both water sources are running above minimum consent levels, flows are trending downwards, which is cause for concern," he SAID.
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"We know demand for water is likely to increase over the Christmas and New Year period, so as a precaution we need to reduce demand now to avoid the need for even tighter restrictions in coming weeks."
The restrictions were a reminder to all Far North residents to use water sensibly over summer and the need to adopt simple conservation measures, such as taking shorter showers, flushing toilets less often, only washing clothes on a full load, turning off taps while brushing teeth or preparing vegetables, and fixing leaking taps, toilets and other fittings.
Taylor said an increased holiday season population would increase pressure on supplies, and asked all residents and business owners to remind visitors, friends and whānau of the need to conserve water.
Meanwhile work to develop secondary water supplies for Kaitaia and Kaikohe, which were most seriously impacted by the last drought, were progressing well. A bore site at Sweetwater, north-west of Kaitaia, was due to become operational before next summer, while, a second bore at Monument Hill in Kaikohe should be operational "soon," and could meet up to 45 per cent of the town's summer water needs if required.
The council was also undertaking detailed research on the Tirohanga Stream, in the hope that it would prove to be safe to take water from even the flow was reduced.