Auckland still grappling with water shortage

Auckland is still grappling with a major water shortage despite the city saving billions of litres by restricting daily water use. 

Catchments remain at levels 20 percent lower than usual, but Watercare says it's confident it's doing enough to get the city through summer with enough water and after months of water restrictions it's crunch time for the supply.

Aucklanders have been doing their bit saving over 5 billion litres of water so far and sticking to lower water consumption targets. 

But for the past two days, the city has used about a million litres more than the daily goal.  

Acting chief executive of Watercare Marlon Bridge says lake levels are largely lower than average. 

"Our lake levels are currently at 67.6 percent and they're normally around 90 percent at this time of year." 

To help with the anticipated summer demand Watercare has more water on the way from additional sources. 

"We're hoping to bring on an additional amount of supply before Christmas that is equivalent to the needs of a city the size of Tauranga. So it's a total of about 40 million litres a day," Bridge says. 

The extra 40 million litres will mostly come from the Waikato river, but also from the Pukekohe bore and by reconnecting a dam in Papakura. 

Despite this, Aucklanders are still being asked to keep water usage down with a ban on outdoor hoses remaining in place.  

Bridge says Watercare knows Auckland will get through the summer with enough supply if people stick to restrictions. 

"We're still confident we'll get through the summer period, it just may mean at the end of summer we'll have lower than expected lake levels."

For now, Watercare is reminding the city not to be tempted by any long-weekend outdoor jobs that require huge amounts of water.