Wellingtonians are being urged to save water as the region enters a critical period for water supply.
Rivers that supply the capital with water are showing the effects of an unusually dry spring, said Nigel Wilson, Chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council's Social and Cultural Wellbeing Committee.
"Flows in the Hutt River were only 82 per cent of the river's December average in spite of good rainfall over the past month. Plus we're heading into what is typically the hottest, driest time of the year - this usually coincides with high water use, mainly due to garden watering."
Cr Wilson said current conditions, combined with the fact that the city's supply of stored water is halved while one of the Te Marua storage lakes is empty for earthquake-strengthening and enlarging, mean everybody should be careful with water in January.
"The good news - people can easily make changes to water use habits. Target garden watering to only water your plants' roots and only do full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher.
"Simple actions like these make a big difference and can help us avoid tough water restrictions."