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Water restrictions

Water restrictions will be in force from 9am on Saturday, 16 December until further notice.

Ban on residential sprinklers and hosing hard surfaces such as driveways and paths

This is a result of increasing water consumption caused by a long spell of dry weather.

What the ban means

  • All residential sprinklers are banned.
  • No hosing of hard surfaces (paths, driveways, concrete or paved surface) at any time.
  • You can still carefully water your garden and lawn by hand between 5am and 8am, and 7pm and 10pm.

Tips to save water

  • Use mulch to keep soil moist.
  • Collect water from your shower for watering your garden.
  • Let your lawn die off; it will grow back.

For more tips, visit saving water


The water restrictions apply to the city water supply. Recycled water, bore water and water used for testing fire systems, firefighting and related activities are exempt from the water restrictions. Water from rainwater tanks is also exempt if it is not topped up from the city’s water supply.

No sprinklers allowed. What can I do?

Below are answers to some common questions to help you identify what you can and cannot do during a residential sprinkler and irrigation system ban.

Can I still water my garden during a sprinkler ban?

Yes you can, by hand – we recommend a trigger nozzle on a hose, or a watering can. Watering is restricted to 5am and 8am, and 7pm and 10pm.

Why can we only water at certain times?

Watering is restricted to the coolest parts of the day because watering in the heat of the day results in a lot of water loss through evaporation. 

Can I still wash my car?

Yes you can, by hand - we recommend using a bucket and a trigger nozzle on a hose. Where possible, wash your car on the grass.

My neighbour is using their sprinkler – should they be?

No, unless they have their own water supply. You can report any sprinkler use by calling 577 7000.

The bowling club/sports club/council is still watering their lawn; is that okay?

They are still permitted to water their facilities, however we have asked that they are as pragmatic and responsible as possible.

My business relies on outdoor water use (house cleaners, nurseries etc.). What can I do?

You can continue to operate as normal, however we ask that you are pragmatic and responsible when watering.

Why are there restrictions when we’ve had so much rain?

Sustained and increasing water demand, as a result of the recent hot dry weather, has put pressure on Tauranga’s water treatment capacity. We can only abstract and treat a certain amount of water each day.

Can the kids still play in the sprinkler?

No. Sprinkler use is banned. But you can spray them with the hose and use paddling pools.

Can I still fill my pool?

Yes, but you must be holding the hose as it fills the pool – any unattended watering is not permitted.

We are however asking people to be as pragmatic and responsible as possible, and consider using the fantastic outdoor facilities that some of the public pools have as an alternative.

Public swimming pools

Can I still clean my boat?

Yes, using a hose with a trigger nozzle or high-pressure cleaning device

Can I still waterblast my house?

Yes – assuming you are holding the waterblaster. 

What are some other ways that I can water my garden?

You can water your garden with grey water collected from your bath, shower, washing machine or kitchen sink.

What is Council doing to save water?

Where possible, we will be stopping the watering of reserves, sportsfields and street trees that are irrigated from the city’s water supply. However, at some reserves, turning off irrigation would cause damage that would incur a huge cost to ratepayers. We can also move to using water from a bore, rather than the city water supply, in some instances. You may see irrigation in some places where the water is not from the city water supply, so don’t be alarmed.

How will Council enforce the water restriction?

Council will provide education, information and warning notices to encourage compliance with the water restriction. However, the Local Government Act 2002 and Council’s Supply of Water 2007 bylaw allow for enforcement through prosecution and restriction of the water supply to a property.

What happens if the water restrictions do not work?

We will need to escalate our water restrictions.

The next level would be a hosepipe ban. The level after that would be a ban on all outdoor water use.  

Supply of Water Bylaw 2007 (62kb pdf)


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