Aucklanders urged to continue saving water as shortage continues

New Zealand's lack of rain is in no way helping Auckland's water shortage problem.

Dams around the city are only around half-filled with some restrictions on use still in place, and Aucklanders are being urged to continue saving water.

The bare land at a dam in Auckland's Waitakere Ranges shows just how dry the situation is. It's somewhat of a Sunday drive tourist attraction for out-of-towners.

When John visited a few years ago, the water was overflowing.

"It would be coming from over there and just flowing over the wall and trickling down, but with all of it trickling down it was quite a stream," he says.

For locals who see it all the time, the change is also obvious.

"Sad to see the low levels in it. I have to say certainly it's as low as I've seen it, ever," local Robyn says.

Water restrictions began for Auckland last May to try to combat a historic drought. One year on, the city is still experiencing a water shortage.

Normally the dirt banks at one Waitakere Ranges dam are underwater, but because of significantly less rainfall than normal Auckland dams are only about 51 percent full. Compare that to the 76 percent they normally are at this time of year and you can see why there's a problem.

Despite that, Watercare says we're in a better position than we were last year because not only have we increased our take from the Waikato River, but Aucklanders have been reducing water usage.

This week, Auckland needs to limit its water use to 430 million litres a day. We're on track at the moment, with the current seven-day rolling average sitting at 393 million litres a day.

Showering and doing laundry use the most water. The advice is to limit showers to a maximum of four minutes, only run your washing machine and dishwasher when full, and fill the sink rather than rinsing dishes under a running tap.

While Aucklanders are doing well when it comes to saving water, Watercare urges locals to keep up the good work because less than normal rainfall is expected.

"So far there's been about 200 millimetres of rain which compares to about 300 that you would normally have at this time," MetService forecaster Allister Gorman says.