Auckland is facing a shortage of water again. The water level in the storage lakes is usually at 77% at this time of year but now, despite recent rain, it’s still only at 50%. Residents are asked to limit their use of water by about 15% – that’s 20 litres of water a day. Take shorter showers, wash your car using a bucket of water and don’t water your garden with a hose. Of course, it’s not just home use that is the problem, water is also used by businesses, and for agriculture and horticulture.
Auckland water comes from rain stored in dams in the hills, from rivers and underground aquifers. Last year the Waikato River supplied about 30% of Auckland’s water but Hamilton also needs water from this river, and at the moment, the level of water in the river is low.
Last year there was a drought which caused a severe shortage of water. This year, Auckland’s water supply is still recovering from that drought and there has not been much rain.
Auckland is not the only area where there has been little rain. The far North of the North Island had a water shortage last year and is still needing rain. The whole east coast of the South Island has had almost no rain for a long time. Farmers have to irrigate to make the grass grow, often using water from nearby rivers, and water levels in rivers are low this year.