Drought continues despite spells of rain

Photo: File/SunLive.

Tauranga City Council is reminding residents that the need for water restrictions persists and urges people to minimise their outdoor water use. 

Water use has seen a steep rise over the past week and despite some rain overnight it’s important people continue to adhere to the conditions of the restrictions.

“There is very little margin between source water levels, water treatment capacity and current water use – putting significant pressure on our streams and water treatment plants,” says Stephen Burton, director of City Waters.

 "Water levels in the streams that supply our drinking water are the lowest on record, making it essential we all do our bit to keep demand manageable.”

“Our desire is to avoid stricter measures, which is dependent on the community’s actions when using water.  We want to make sure that the drought conditions and the need to use water wisely stays top of mind for residents,” says Stephen. 

Current restrictions were implemented on December 23 2020. This means:

  •   •  All sprinklers and irrigation systems are banned.

  •   •  No hosing of hard surfaces (paths, driveways, concrete or paved surface) at any time.

  •   •  You can still water carefully by hand between 5am and 8am, and 7pm and 10pm​​​​​​​. ​​​​​​​

Should water use remain high, or the situation in stream flow levels deteriorate, the next step would be an outdoor hose ban.

Dry conditions in the Bay of Plenty persist, and short spells of rain have done little to relieve the situation.

Streams in the area are experiencing very low flows, some are at their lowest since records began in 1975. Bay of Plenty Regional Council, responsible for caring for the region’s waterways, have said the region entered 2021 with lingering drought conditions from long-term rainfall deficits starting in early 2019.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council water shortage event manager Steve Pickles has expressed concern about the lack of rain and the risk of stream flows reaching critical levels. This could drive the need to impose water restrictions on consented water users.
For tips on conserving water, visit

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