Aucklanders can once more water their garden and wash their cars with hand-held hoses as household drought restrictions ease today.
Despite the level of the city's nine dams still averaging around 20 per cent under normal historical levels, a combination of recent rainfall and water conservation has given the green light to changes that will affect both residential and commercial users.
Auckland Council last month voted to ease restrictions after Watercare advised there was sufficient water and good projected rainfall heading into summer.
Households can now use an outdoor hose or water blaster with a trigger nozzle from today. However, the ban on water sprinklers remains in force.
Since May 16, the city's 1.7 million residents have been banned from washing cars, houses and watering the garden with an outdoor hose in response to the city's dam levels plunging to severely low levels as the result of the long summer drought.
The rules were relaxed on October 12 to allow businesses to use hoses with a trigger nozzle outdoors. Commercial car washes also resumed and sports fields, plants and paddocks could be watered with irrigation systems fitted with soil moisture or rain sensors.
Despite the relaxations, Watercare is still urging Aucklanders to keep conserving water, saying it needs to limit use to 437 million litres a day.
Aucklanders are still being encouraged to save water by keeping showers short and running washing machines and dishwashers only when they are full.
The latest seven-day rolling average has the city using 413 million litres a day, which is under the daily target.
Most of Auckland's drinking supply comes from the nine dams in the Hunua and Waitakere ranges. They all rely entirely on rainfall to replenish. This summer a 10th dam will be connected to the city's supply.
The Auckland region is still feeling the effects of a severe drought which took hold in 2019 and saw total water storage drop to below 50 per cent in April for the first time in more than 25 years.
Today the dams are at 72 per cent capacity. They historically sit at 90 per cent.