Aucklanders are being called upon to limit their shower time to four minutes, as part of a new campaign to counter record demand for water.
But, in spite of unprecedented consumption fuelled by the heat, and widespread dryness, city officials have no plans to follow other councils in bringing in water restrictions.
Those were now in force in many places, including Whangarei, Coromandel, Hamilton, Napier, Hastings, New Plymouth, Masterton, Wellington, Porirua and the Hutt Valley.
The situation had become especially severe in the Far North, where angry Kaikohe residents have accused their council of not doing enough to avert a water crisis that could mean the town may soon run dry.
Currently, Auckland's total water storage is sitting at 72 per cent, compared with a historical average of around 83 per cent for this time of year.
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While Watercare was keeping a close watch on levels, the agency said there was no concern at this stage.
However, it was compelling Aucklanders to cut back on their use, after the city smashed its consumption record two times since the start of this month.
"In summer, people use more water than in winter - and on hot days, water use can skyrocket and put a strain on the city's infrastructure," Watercare's head of water value, Roseline Klein, said.
"We call this peak demand."
On February 4, Aucklanders used a record-breaking 561 million litres of water - that was in stark contrast to the average daily usage of 440 million litres in 2019.
And the overall demand for tap water in Auckland was rising, with a growing population, expanding businesses and high tourist numbers all having an impact.
That means that, over the past 20 years, the city's consumption had increased by 100 million litres a day – or over 36 per cent.
"We want to ensure that our existing assets are being well used before building new infrastructure," Klein said.
"That's why we're running a campaign called 'Water is precious' and are asking people to be mindful of their water use – particularly on hot days when some people let their hose pipes run wild.
"It's not about saving water or going without; it's about using water wisely so we make the most of our existing infrastructure."
One of the calls to action for Aucklanders is to take the four-minute shower challenge.
"If everyone in Auckland cut their showers from eight minutes to four minutes, the region would reduce its water use by 80 million litres a day."
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said he'd be doing his bit by filling a bucket to wash his car, rather than using the hose.
Klein said Auckland was fortunate to have a range of water sources in Auckland – dams, rivers and aquifers.
"At the moment, we're drawing more water from the Waikato River and Onehunga aquifer to reduce demand on our southern dams," she said.
"This means we're fairly comfortable in terms of the availability of water and there are no water restrictions. However, we do need people to use water wisely, especially when it's warm."