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Auckland's 'heart-warming' effort to cut water consumption is working

Watercare's dams in the Hunua Ranges are contaminated with silt in the wake of heavy rain.

A city-wide appeal for Aucklanders to reduce water consumption after the Tasman Tempest seems to be working. 

Watercare urged Aucklanders to reduce their household usage by 20 litres of water a day, after severe flooding hit a fortnight ago putting pressure on the city's processing plants.

Since then, Auckland has fluctuated just above or below the daily city-wide target of 400 million litres or less. 

Watercare's record of Auckland's total water use over the last week.

On Monday the city consumed a total of 409m litres of water, 10m less than the previous Monday, and 54m less than Monday, March 6 - before the extreme weather event. 

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A Watercare spokesman, Mark Bourne, holds silted floodwater from the Hunua Dam.

The average daily consumption for March, leading up to the major rain event, was 446 m litres.


Watercare's chief executive Raveen Jaduram said he is delighted by Monday's result.

"The response we're seeing from Aucklanders to our 'Save 20' message is heart-warming.

The Hunua area saw the highest amounts of rain fall over the Tasman Tempest.

"We're a big city and yet we're proving that in times of need, we can come together and do our bit to preserve the health and wellbeing of our diverse community," Jaduram said.

The city-wide water diet was initially put in place to the end of March, but was then changed to being reviewed on a day-by-day basis.

But Auckland wasn't in the clear yet, said Watercare spokeswoman Maxine Clayton on Tuesday.

"The dams are still absolutely laden with silt and it's going to take many weeks for it to settle, so until then the Ardmore treatment plant is going to struggle.

"So once the water clears, and Ardmore's back to full production, then we're all good - but until then we need everyone to maintain these cuts in their water consumption."

She said Watercare's water users were receiving frequent updates and reminders of the need to reduce water usage as much as practicable.

The Tasman Tempest hit Auckland and other parts of the upper North Island from March 8 to 11 and caused severe flooding, power outages, property and stock losses.


Twenty litres of water is equal to two standard water buckets.

Water can be saved by cutting shower times, turning off taps while brushing teeth and only running dishwashers and washing machines when full, Watercare said.