Auckland's water restrictions to be lifted after two years

Source: 1News

Auckland's water restrictions are set to be lifted this weekend after 18-months of conserving efforts due to a major drop in the city's dam levels.

Auckland Council announced on Thursday morning all remaining outdoor restrictions - which includes preventing the use of outdoor sprinklers - will be lifted from Saturday.

Mayor Phil Goff said the significant rainfall in August helped boost water levels in Auckland's dams to the point where they are now above normal levels and sustainable thanks to the new water supply established last year.

"After a record-breaking drought in 2019/20 and a long period of drier than normal conditions, increased rainfall since August has significantly boosted dam storage levels," Goff said.

"Aucklanders have done a fantastic job of reducing their water consumption over the 17 months since restrictions were first introduced - saving more than 20 billion litres.

“We have also developed water-saving habits that on average are seeing 36 million litres less water consumed each day than in 2019."

When first introduced back in 2019, efforts to conserve water in the region included banning outdoor use of hoses and some car wash facilities along with encouragement of people taking shorter showers.

Watercare CEO Jon Lamonte said those efforts are all paying off now and it is unlikely new restrictions will be imposed this summer.

The positivity came with a warning though.

"Mandatory restrictions will always serve as a tool for managing severe droughts in the future.

"They're commonly used around the world during a drought as a way of stretching out the available supply until the rain returns.

"We've only needed restrictions twice in our 29-year history, but at some point in the future we'll likely need to apply them again."