Aucklanders have an extra 25 million litres of water to draw from a day thanks to a new $34 million reservoir in Pukekohe - and mayor Phil Goff is trying to get another 50 million litres out of the Waikato River.
The Auckland mayor visited the newly completed Pukekohe East reservoir on Friday, which is already operational, and stands 12 metres high to store the equivalent of 20 Olympic swimming pools.
The reservoir stores water from Watercare's Waikato water treatment plant before it is distributed through the wider Auckland network.
"This will be an important boost as we continue to deal with the impacts of the driest six months from November to April that Auckland has ever experienced and lake levels still significantly below their average level," Goff said.
It means Auckland now has an extra 25m litres on top of the 100m litres Auckland can take from the Waikato River - after a consent was given by Waikato Regional Council this month.
Goff is now in talks for more water from the Waikato River - not with Waikato Regional Council this time, but an agricultural user who has consent for 50m litres from the river but isn't using it.
"The 50 million litres is still under negotiation with the consent holder," Goff said.
"We will get that and that will take us to the full capacity of our current Waikato/Auckland pipeline."
Despite the city's increased water storage, Goff would not indicate a timeline for Auckland's water restrictions to end.
"I'm still a bit cautious. Last November we had 89 per cent capacity in our lakes. This year we're aiming at 75 per cent," Goff said.
"So still a long way under normal. What I don't want to do is easing off of the restrictions prematurely only to find that we have to slam them on even harder later on.
"If we get the rain we need we could come out of restrictions earlier. But it would be incredibly unwise for us to take the restrictions off on the chance that it might rain."
Goff and council staff are meeting this week to discuss whether the water restrictions will remain.
"We are starting to look at our strategy. What are we going to do longer term? Do we take more from the Waikato? Do we recycle our waste water?" Goff said.
The mayor also said that after stopping charging for the resource consent for Auckland residents to install a home water tank in July, they are now considering waiving the resource consent process all together.