Water troubles could continue as summer hits early

A day after Napier's water reservoir was critically close to running dry, other areas of New Zealand are being warned they too could face a water shortage.

While Napier stocks have slowly built back to a satisfactory level since the restrictions were brought in, residents there are now asking why the warning was so last minute.

Keeping the city so green means residents in Napier typically use 570 litres of water per day - higher than the national average of 300 litres, but people have quickly heeded the warning to conserve.

Many say it was unfair that council grounds like McLean Park, which has been marked for redevelopment, still had its sprinklers on yesterday.

"It was ironic that all over social media there were pictures of sprinklers at parks doing the rounds, made it look stupid when we were told to turn ours off," said Napier resident Ronda Chrystal.

Some residents want to hold a march on Saturday in protest at the lack of early warning - even Napier's MP was caught off guard.

"I was watering my camellias on Sunday and I had no idea we had this crisis and I read about it in the paper so I think the Napier city council might have to have a look at their overall comms plan," said Stuart Nash.

Mayor Bill Dalton says it was unfortunate timing that the shortage came just before they planned to launch a conserve water ad campaign.

"We always knew there would be greater usage on a hot day, could you not have warned people earlier?," he said.

"Look right across New Zealand people will have water restrictions if you have extreme adverse conditions."

Water supply is not the issue in Napier because it comes from underground aquifer and is pumped through to reservoir, but when there's less rain and in November it only had 21 percent of usual monthly rainfall, then people use more water.

On Sunday night instead of the reservoir being replenished overnight as use dropped off people kept using it and got to critically low level.

"The reality is people were getting on with what they do and were not aware of the situation we were getting into with regard to our reservoir levels however once they were informed they readily changed their behaviour and were happy to be a part of the solution," said Jon Kingsford, Council Director of Infrastructure.

It's not just Napier feeling the pressure.

In Auckland, Watercare says say summer has arrived early so it's already time to conserve water.

Water restrictions are already in place across Wellington, Porirua and the Hutt Valley.

In Christchurch on Saturday and Sunday the city used half a billion litres of water, the most over a weekend since January 2009, and residents are being asked to restrict use.

As for Napier, Council says since the warning the reservoir has filled back up to what they call satisfactory levels but restrictions remain for now.

Newshub .