Auckland water shortage causing lengthy waits for homeowners

Desperate Auckland homeowners are having to wait at least a month to replenish their water tanks, and demand for water is surging across the region.

Many suppliers are having to turn away new bookings because they can't keep up.

It's all hands to the pump as delivery tankers rush to quench thirsty households.

One worker from Healthy Water Tanks is so busy he doesn't have time to answer his phone.

"I've got 130 messages on my phone here that I still haven't got to," he said.

Large swathes of the region rely on rain collection tanks for water, but with sweltering temperatures and little to no rain, many are running dry.

Muriwai resident Suzie Lyons said there have been a variety of reactions to the water shortage.

"Some people are panicking, some people have sympathy for that, and others are like hey you live rurally and you should be prepared for this."

Lyons considers herself one of the lucky ones - she had a water delivery on Thursday.

Some customers in Muriwai have had to wait up to six weeks, and it doesn't look like it's going to let up any time soon.

Watercare said that since January, more than 85 million litres of water have been drawn from its plants.

Adding to the pressure, Watercare has had to close two tanker filling stations and restrict the capacity of two more.

"If the dry weather continues, and the demand stays as high as it is, Watercare have to protect their network and protect customers on urban systems," Auckland Council Healthy Water Strategy Andrew Chin said.

Auckland's dams are around 73 percent full, but unless the region gets some rain soon, thousands could be left waiting for a drop to drink.