Aucklanders have cut their water use by millions of litres after storms two weeks ago flushed silt into a water treatment station.

Yesterday, consumption was 397 million litres, below the Watercare target of 400 million litres or less.

Auckland's average use is 450 million litres a day.

Water advice line advisor Olivia Tukuogo said reducing water was easy.

"Take a shorter shower - also a great way to save on your energy bill - and catch the cold water in a bucket while waiting for the heated water. This water can be used to help fill your washing machine, or the toilet cistern.

"Wait until you have a full load before doing the laundry or the dishes. Rinse using a bowl in the sink or pop the plug in rather than leaving a tap running. Recycle water from drink bottles and dehumidifiers over the garden."

The Ardmore treatment plant, which supplies about two-thirds of the city's water supply, was swamped with silt after last week's devastating downpours.


Watercare offers a free water advice and audit service that gives people a personalised report showing how their household can best save water.

St Johns resident Wayne Dunning received an audit.

"They were very thorough - they checked every appliance involving water and checked all the fittings."

As a result of the audit, he performed a leak test, had a flow restrictor installed in a shower and fixed a leaking tap.

Dunning uses two 1000-litre tanks to catch the run-off from part of his roof and has set up an irrigation system for his impressive vegetable and flower gardens using the collected stormwater.

As Aucklanders are being asked to save 20 litres each per day, Dunning is also using water from his tanks to fill the washing machine and toilet.

"We're doing our bit to save water. I grew up on a farm and we had tank water. I learned that water was very precious and not endless."

Five easy ways to reduce your water use

1. Cut your shower time by two minutes: Approximate saving = 16 litres

2. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. Approximate saving = 4 litres

3. Only run your dishwasher when it's full.

4. Only run your washing machine when it's full.

5. Use the half-flush on your toilet.

Visit the Watercare website for more ways to be waterwise.