Bay of Plenty farmers are "getting a little bit desperate" as temperatures soar and soil moisture levels fall.
But experts are warning Kiwis to get used to more droughts as the world gets warmer.
Around the Bay of Plenty many rivers, lakes and streams have hit record lows forcing some councils to impose strict water regulations.
Last year was New Zealand's hottest on record, and according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) many regions including the Bay are currently experiencing a big dry.
Federated Farmers Rotorua-Taupo provincial president Colin Guyton said there had been no rainfall on his farm for five weeks.
"We hoped for some reprieve with Cyclone Cody but that didn't come to anything, which can be really hard on your mental health.
"We are getting a little bit desperate."
Guyton acknowledged farmers were resilient and looking at their options if a drought loomed.
He was already feeding out silage, which added financial stress, and was looking at milking once a day to save water.
Te Puke sheep and beef farmer Rick Powdrell said the last significant rainfall on his farm was 226ml in December.
Since then he had recorded 5ml.
"I think all farmers will have their minds in dry mode. Every time you go out on the farm you're sort of looking at things and readjusting your thinking and working out how you're going to get through."
Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty provincial president Darryl Jensen said his farm was starting to brown off.
"There is not a lot of green around at the moment and that is concerning."
Jensen made a management decision in mid-December because of the heat and was milking once a day.
He said water shortages were a worry for some farmers.
"Some of our underground water sources and streams are getting low and not getting re-charged. This creates a lot of extra pressure."
Jensen supported more research on the subject.
"We want good robust science so we can understand what is underneath us so we can be more proactive. Whether that is through rationing or whatever we have we don't want to diminish water for future generations."
However, Zespri said the current dry weather could enhance the kiwifruit harvest.
Chief grower, industry and sustainability officer Carol Ward said it was "leading to what we expect to be another great-tasting crop".
"Some further rain before Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit harvest begins in late February would be welcome, particularly for green growers and those without access to orchard water sources."
Kiwifruit grower Amber Canuel said she was cutting back excessive growth and reject fruit to manage the vine load.
She had drip irrigation on in the evenings to maintain the fruit size "which is looking promising at the moment".
Ministry for Primary Industries rural communities and farming support director Nick Story said parts of the Bay of Plenty only officially moved out of drought late last year.
No droughts had been declared this year but climate change and severe weather events were more frequent and intense.
"So, it's important we help farmers and growers get their businesses ready for future climate conditions."
Bay of Plenty Regional Council data service manager Glenn Ellery said the past three years of weather meant drier than normal conditions particularly in central and western parts of the region.
Rotorua streams with their headwaters in Mamaku Ranges had moved into Alert Level 1 of a Water Shortage Event which meant increased analysis and reporting.
He said the rest of the region was in Alert Level 0 but prolonged rain was needed.
All life needs water to survive so declining water levels in some streams was worrisome for the wildlife that called them home, he said.
"With climate change we are expecting to see more periods of prolonged dry weather with short bursts of extreme rainfall in-between. This unpredictable weather pattern will see the region more at risk of both droughts and flooding in the future."
Tauranga City Council water services manager Peter Bahrs said Tautau and Waiorohi streams, that supply the city water, were at 25 per cent and 63 per cent of their average flow.
Tautau Stream was at its lowest level in three years and continuing to decline but the council had introduced the Water Watchers Plan to avoid a crisis.
"People should restrict water use, water is a precious resource that is becoming increasingly scarce during summer so we all need to use it wisely."
The average daily use was 43.7 million litres a day but had climbed to 58 million in previous years. Sprinklers were banned in the city.
Western Bay of Plenty Council had an alternate day sprinkler ban in place while Rotorua had no restrictions.
Niwa meteorologist Ben Noll said below normal rainfall had dried out the Bay of Plenty in the past six weeks and caused substantial soil moisture losses.
"We're seeing soil moisture deficits of 30mm to 50mm which is pretty significant for this time of the year."
The Bay of Plenty was not in a drought yet but was classified as dry to very dry on its Niwa Drought Index.
New Zealand's weather during the summer was dry and Noll expected the frequency of droughts to increase over time.
"While they won't happen every single summer, the chance for one is increasing with our warmer world and that is something we have to cope with from a climatic perspective.
"The globe is warming. That is due to the human impact with our emissions and natural factors like warmer oceans and higher air pressure patterns which brings more sunshine and tranquil conditions."
MetService meteorologist Dan Corrigan said the Bay would be mostly dry for the next week.
"There could be the odd shower here and there but definitely not enough to provide a reprieve."
Tauranga has reached 29C four times this month with 29.8C on Monday while Rotorua hit 28C on New Year's Day and on January 2.
Today Tauranga was expected to reach 25C and Rotorua 24C.