Save water

Reduce your water use

Our goal is to reduce water consumption across the district by 25 per cent.

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You can help by following these guidelines:

  • Only wash clothes when you have a full load. A washing machine uses about 150 litres of water per wash
  • Use the dishwasher for full loads only. Each load uses 40 to 80 litres of water
  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth
  • Put the plug in the sink when washing vegetables and don’t leave the tap running
  • Put a half full soft drink bottle in your toilet cistern to reduce the quantity of water you flush
  • Flush the toilet less often
  • Use less water in the bath. A bath can use up to 80 litres of water
  • Take shorter showers. A shower uses about 8 litres of water a minute
  • Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge to avoid running more water than you need for a glass of water

Water restrictions

Our current situation is severe. Water levels are very low across the district with no significant rain predicted by forecasters for the next few weeks or even longer. All Council water supplies are now on water restrictions. To avoid more restrictions or interrupted water supplies, we need everyone to immediately reduce their water use by 25 per cent, whether on public supply or private rainwater tanks.

Level 4 water restrictions are in place for the below water supplies:

  • Omanaia-Rawene
  • Kawakawa-Moerewa
  • Kaikohe-Ngawha

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Level 3 restrictions, which means no use of hoses or sprinklers, are in place for Kaitaia, Kerikeri-Waipapa and Opononi-Omapere.

Level 2 restrictions are in place for the Council water scheme at Paihia-Waitangi-Opua and Okaihau 

Water restriction exemptions

Users connected to Council water supplies can apply for an exemption to water restrictions if they are adversely impacted. Exemptions have stringent rules for water use, such as using sprinklers only at night and providing weekly water meter readings to the Council.

You will have to reapply for exemptions if water restriction levels are increased. To apply, use the exemption form(PDF, 70KB) and email to watersalliance@fndc.govt.nz or drop into the nearest Council Service Centre. A decision will be made and the applicant notified within 10 working days.

Water media releases

 

Water public notices - restrictions and outages

Answers to your questions

We are working hard to provide answers to your questions regarding the current water crisis in our beautiful and unique district.

Click the green 'Go to answers' button. You'll be taken to a comprehensive question and answer document we've put together for you. We will update this document as new questions come in.

Go to answers(PDF, 235KB)

If you cannot find the answer to your question in the above document please email us at watershortage@fndc.govt.nz and we will add it to this document as soon as we can.

My town supply

Kaikohe-Ngawha

Updated on 4 May 2020

Drought not over yet

There is still a drought in the Far North despite recent rain.  Kaikohe’s main water source, Wairoro Stream, is still running below consented levels.  However, flows have stabilised and the Council expects these to increase gradually as winter approaches. 

Lake Omapere a back-up water supply

Kaikohe is no longer in danger of running out of drinking water following completion of infrastructure to treat raw water from Lake Omapere.  The Northland District Health Board has approved extensive water treatment measures the Council and its alliance partner Far North Waters have developed to ensure water from the lake meets NZ Drinking Water Standards.  The Council will only supply water from the lake to Kaikohe households and businesses if it is unable to take water from its usual sources.  The Council is grateful to Lake Omapere Trust and Omapere Taraire E Rangihamama X3A Ahuwhenua Trust for making the lake available to the community as a temporary water supply. 

Kaikohe community sustains water savings

Kaikohe households and businesses continue to achieve weekly water savings well in excess of the Council’s 25% water saving target.  The town reduced its normal water use by more than 38% last week.  The Council is urging people to keep saving water to avoid the need to supply water from the lake.  A graph below shows recent water savings.  

Questions & Answers

When will the Council start supplying treated water from Lake Omapere?

The lake is a back-up water source and we will only use it if we are unable to take water from our main water sources, Wairoro Stream and a bore on Monument Hill.  We may not need to supply treated water from the lake if we receive enough rain.

How will the Council manage water quality risks with water from Lake Omapere?

The lake is susceptible to algal blooms, particularly in summer when temperatures are high.  We have made extensive upgrades to our Taraire Hills Treatment Plant to ensure it will remove toxin-producing bacteria if an algal bloom occurs.  We have done this by creating a large settlement reservoir that allows material that can harbour toxin-producing bacteria to be removed from the system.  We have worked closely with the Northland District Health Board and water treatment consultants on this and recently received approval from the board to use the lake as a temporary water supply.  We are also testing the water daily and monitoring the lake for algal blooms.  If we have any concerns about water quality, we won’t take water from the lake. 

Can the Council guarantee that water from the lake will be safe to drink?

No council in New Zealand can make that guarantee about any water supply, because all water supplies have water quality risks.  Providing a public water supply is about managing and reducing these risks to a level the district health board is comfortable with.  The Northland District Health Board has given us approval to use the lake as a temporary water supply.  While it is safe to drink, we cannot remove the odour and taste of the water.  We therefore plan to only use it as a back-up supply.

Will the lake solve Kaikohe's water shortage?

No.  We only have agreements with Lake Omapere Trust and Omapere Taraire E Rangihamama X3A Ahuwhenua Trust to use the lake as a temporary water supply. We need the community to continue saving water and we commend households and businesses for exceeding our 25% water saving target.  We are also investigating other water sources in the Kaikohe area.  These include drilling a second bore at Monument Hill to tap into a deeper underground water supply and investigating the viability of developing community-scale water storage (dams) with the Government and Northland Regional Council.

When will the Council lift Level 4 water restrictions in Kaikohe?

We are reviewing water restrictions across the district every week and will consider relaxing these when streams are flowing above consented levels for a sustained period.  Kaikohe residents have done a fantastic job of reducing their water consumption by more than 25 per cent.  We ask you to continue these efforts for a little longer.

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Kaitaia

Updated on 22 May 2020

The reductions will see tough Level 4 restrictions in place for Kaitaia since February immediately reduced to Level 3. This means households and businesses can now water gardens, and wash cars, buildings and paved areas from a bucket. Commercial car cleaners can also operate high-pressure and recycled water systems. A ban remains on the use of all outdoor hoses and irrigation systems. Filling swimming pools also remains completely banned.   

Mayor Carter says unique circumstances in both Kaitaia and Paihia mean the burden of water restrictions can now be reduced for those communities. “Kaitaia residents will be especially relieved that Level 4 water restrictions can be relaxed. This is possible due to increased and consistent water flows in the Awanui River. Our supplementary ground water source at Bonnett Road is also operating well, and we are confident Kaitaia’s supply can be maintained uninterrupted.”

 

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Kawakawa-Moerewa

Updated on 11 April 2020

Kawakawa and Moerewa’s water source Tirohanga Stream is still flowing below levels permitted by the Northland Regional Council, despite recent rain.  The regional council has given us permission to take water beyond consented limits, but only if we restrict the use of water.  We introduced Level 4 restrictions in February, limiting water use to essential needs only, and are urging households and businesses to reduce normal water use by 25%.  The graph below shows how Kawakawa-Moerewa is tracking towards its 25% water savings target.

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Kerikeri-Waipapa

Updated on 11 April 2020

Level 3 restrictions are in place at our Kerikeri-Waipapa water supply where we draw water from the Puketotara Stream and Waingaro Reservoir, which is operated by the Kerikeri Irrigation Company.  Water levels in the stream have risen following recent rain and are above limits permitted by the Northland Regional Council.  However, there remains an ongoing risk of pipes breaking as a result of dry ground conditions.  We urge households and businesses connected to the Council water supply to continue to comply with the hose and sprinkler ban and reduce normal water usage by at least 25% until further notice.  The graph below shows how Kerikeri-Waipapa is tracking towards its 25% water savings target. The graph below shows how Kerikeri-Waipapa is tracking towards its 25% water savings target.

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Okaihau

Updated on 11 April 2020

Level 2 water restrictions are in place at our Okaihau water supply where we draw water from a bore.  We are operating within our resource consent, but asking households and businesses to observe the sprinkler ban.  The community has already achieved significant water savings.  We commend Okaihau for this and encourage people to keep reducing normal water use by at least 25%.  The graph below shows how Okaihau is tracking towards its 25% water savings target.

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Omanaia-Rawene

Updated on 11 April 2020

Level 4 restrictions remain in place at our Omanaia-Rawene water supply, despite recent rain.  The supply’s water source, Petaka Stream, was flowing above levels permitted by the Northland Regional Council on 7 April.  However, the stream is susceptible to fluctuations and was flowing below permitted levels on 3 April.  We thank the Omanaia-Rawene community for exceeding our 25% water savings target and ask the community to continue to save water until the Hokianga receives significant rain and we are able to relax the restrictions.  The graph below shows how Omanaia-Rawene is tracking towards its 25% water savings target.

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Opononi-Omapere

Updated on 11 April 2020

Level 3 restrictions remain in place at Opononi-Omapere where we draw water from the Waiarohia Dam, Waiotemarama Stream and a new bore on Smoothy Road.  Stream flows have risen following recent rain.  However, they are still below levels permitted by the Northland Regional Council.  We are grateful to households and businesses complying with the hose and sprinkler ban and exceeding our 25% water savings target.  We ask the community to continue to save water until the Hokianga receives significant rain and we are able to relax the restrictions.  The graph below shows how Opononi-Omapere is tracking towards its 25% water savings target.

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Paihia-Opua-Waitangi

Updated on 11 April 2020

Paihia, Opua and Waitangi Level 3 restrictions are being reduced to Level 2. This allows households and businesses connected to Council supplies to use handheld hoses to water gardens, and wash cars, buildings and paved areas. Swimming pools can also be filled from the mains supply, although a ban on automatic irrigation and sprinkler systems remains in place.

Recent rainfall has reduced demand in Paihia, especially from bulk water carriers, taking pressure off the water treatment plant. Reduced water restrictions will be good news for the Bay of Islands tourism industry. With COVID-19 restrictions on domestic travel now removed, businesses will be looking to provide as many services as possible for visitors.

 

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Emergency financial assistance

Work and Income may be able to help with financial assistance, even if you're not on a benefit. Go to the Work and Income website, by clicking on the green button below, to find out what they can offer and how to apply.

Work and income - 0800 550 009 Go to Work and Income website

Inland Revenue may be able to offer tax relief and income assistance, along with other measures to people affected by the Northland drought. Contact Inland Revenue to see if they can help.

 Inland Revenue - 0800 473 566Go to Inland Revenue website

Northland Rural Support Trust can assist rural people during an adverse event. They can provide mentors from rural backgrounds to talk to and act as facilitators for financial assistance, Work and Income support, and labour assistance.

 Northland Rural Support Trust - 0800 787 254Go to Northland Rural Support Trust website