As the summer heat begins to kick in, Waipa district and Hamilton city are restricting water use to try avoid an outdoor water ban that hit the region last summer.
Moving to water alert level one means sprinklers must only be used between 6am to 8am and 6pm to 8pm daily, although hand-held hosing can still be done at any time.
The restriction has nothing to do with Hamilton also allowing Auckland City Council to take Waikato River water from Hamilton's consented capacity.
Hamilton City Council's resource consent caters for the city's future growth, but its water treatment plant is upgraded as the city grows and can only treat a certain amount of water.
It means there is extra capacity that Hamilton's water treatment plant cannot treat, which allows Auckland City Council to take more from the Waikato River until July next year, when the deal could be extended.
Waipā District Council's water services manager Martin Mould said last summer went to water alert level four for the first time, which banned outdoor watering in Te Awamutu, Pirongia and Ohaupo so the council has moveed earlier this year to level one across the entire district.
"The water supply for Te Awamutu and Pirongia comes from a small stream on Mt Pirongia, which is quickly affected by hot and humid temperatures. We have also been monitoring the longer-lasting effects of the drought on the Lake Taupo catchment and low Waikato River levels," Mould said.
"Our experienced waters team are continuously monitoring our water supply levels across the district and have indicated that moving early will help prolong the supply. Our communities know how to band together and do their part in conserving water, and we need to again this year, so we can hopefully avoid any need for higher water alert levels before our new water supply is ready next year."
Hamilton City Council's waters manager Maire Porter says a number of factors are considered before water alert levels are put in place.
"We closely monitor water use, weather predictions and trends from previous summers to guide how we manage water," said Porter.
Niwa projections for the upcoming summer in Waikato are for hot and humid weather and after a severe drought this year and less rain, the two councils have opted to take a proactive approach this summer.
"Water conservation is important year-round and there's many easy and effective changes people can make to their indoor and outdoor water use that can save a lot of water each day," says Porter.
Making small behaviour changes such as taking your lawnmower blade up a notch, using a trigger gun on your hose instead of a sprinkler, taking a four-minute shower and turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, can save litres of water over time.