Residents in rural areas of Auckland are being warned to check their rainwater tanks after a dry December.
Auckland Council says rainfall totals have been below normal for most of the region in the season to date, with is forecast to remain so for the next several weeks.
Mayor Phil Goff says rural residents need to think ahead to make sure their tanks don't run dry in the coming months.
"Forward planning is key to avoiding the situation we experienced last summer. If you do need to order water, don't wait until you've almost run out before you call them," he said.
Garry Stephenson, who owns Rodney-based Healthy Water Tanks, says it appears people have learnt from last year, when Auckland experienced one of its worst-ever droughts.
"Rural residents are paying a lot more attention this year and not taking any chances," he said.
"They're pre-booking deliveries early and that’s a massive shift from 2020."
NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll says rain so far this summer has been "patchy - affecting some parts of the region but missing others", and rainfall over the next few weeks is likely to be below normal for the time of year, meaning rural residents really need to keep their "eye on the ball" when it comes to ensuring they have enough water in their tanks.
"This time of the year, tropical cyclones can develop in the tropical Pacific Ocean to the north of New Zealand. Sometimes, their moisture can come down and affect parts of the country, but this moisture is not a guarantee," he said.