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The risk of a water shortage is real.

So we need to prepare for tighter water restrictions, even in an average summer.

Through a combination of increasing leaks, relatively high use and a growing population, we’re using and losing more water than ever before.

We’re working hard to find and fix leaks, but even in an average summer we may have to ask you to significantly reduce water use at your place.

Learn how you can prepare for tighter water restrictions and a water shortage, and what Wellington Water and your councils are doing too.

Water Restrictions

Current water restrictions

Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4

South Wairarapa District Council

Use sprinklers every second day
Read about the restrictions ›

Porirua City Council

Read about the restrictions ›

Upper Hutt City Council

Use sprinklers every second day
Read about the restrictions ›

Hutt City Council

Read about the restrictions ›

Wellington City Council

Read about the restrictions ›
Water restrictions help everyone understand how they can best manage their personal water use, so there’s enough to go round for the necessities. If we all follow each level, we can help reduce the risk of tighter restrictions.

Outdoor residential water restrictions start at Level 1.

If you live in an even numbered house, you can use sprinklers or irrigation systems only on even numbered days between 6-8am and 7-9pm. If you live in an odd numbered house, the same rules apply for odd numbered days.  

You can use handheld watering devices any time, on any day, so long as you don’t leave them unattended. 

All unattended watering systems are banned – ie. sprinklers and irrigation systems.  

You can water your garden by hand anytime, on any day, so long as you don’t leave your garden hose or watering device unattended. 

There is a ban on all residential outdoor water use.

Consider reducing your indoor use, by taking shorter showers and only doing full loads of laundry. 

Businesses can continue to operate as normal, but please be pragmatic and responsible when watering.

Following Level 3 helps reduce the risk of moving to Level 4. 

Water Restriction Level 4 means there is a significant water shortage. 

At level 4 there is a ban on all outdoor water use, and we need to reduce indoor water use to ensure there is enough water for everyone. 

To help save water, people should stop all outdoor water use, take 2 minute showers and limit their laundry use to 1 load per person per week. 

How to conserve water at your place

Want to use less wai at your place, and get ready for tighter water restrictions? Get started with these simple tips for round the home, and learn more here.

Are you a business or other non-residential user? You can find advice on managing your water use here.


  • Aim for full loads of laundry
  • Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth
  • Have shorter showers - one minute can equal 18 litres!
  • Water your garden in the early morning or evening to reduce water evaporation
  • Store water at your place


  • Don't water your garden every day
  • Don't pre-rinse your dishes, scrape food into the compost or bin instead
  • Don't leave the tap running - some can use between 6 to 12 litres a minute!

Wellington Water, on behalf of our council owners, has dedicated teams out finding and fixing leaks every day.

There are a lot of leaks out there and due to the current resources available to us, we simply can’t fix them all.

The older the pipes, the more likely it is that leaks will occur – some pipes are over 100 years old. This is a result of historical underinvestment in water infrastructure.

We must prioritise where crews go to make the best use of our resources and focus on fixing the biggest leaks that have the most impact on water supply. Check out how we prioritise leaks here.

Get the latest info on our leaks mahi below.