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The Tauranga Water Conservation Project

The Tauranga Water Conservation Project aims to empower each of us to minimise unnecessary water use and be more mindful around how we use our share of the city's water supply.

The entire Tauranga water supply is drawn from two spring-fed streams and years of drier than normal summers have seen our city’s water supply at some of the lowest levels on record. We all have to adapt our water use habits to make sure we’re not taking more water than nature can supply – now and in the future.

It’s simply a matter of balance - as a rapidly growing city we mustn’t consume water faster than the streams can replenish themselves.

How much water does Tauranga have?

To understand how much water is available there are three live measurements we use. The residual flow of the streams - our water supply, the production capacity of our water treatment plants, and the city's daily water consumption.

Of those three measurements there’s only one that we have full control over - that’s the daily water consumption, and that’s the bit we can all help with. If we can each stay under 200 litres per person per day this summer, there should be plenty to go round.

Our water sources

Tauranga’s drinking water comes from two aquifer-fed streams – the Tautau and Waiorohi. When stream flow levels are low, we’re restricted as to how much water we can take. The percentage shows  the current stream-flow compared to the 10-year average. In late 2022, we’ll have access to a third water source.

Water production levels

Two water treatment plants produce our city’s drinking water. We restrict water use when we’re close to our water treatment plants’ production capacity. We do this to ensure our treatment plants aren’t running at 100 per cent as this puts pressure on our resources and the plants. Find out how our water is treated.

Our daily usage

Water plays an important role in our daily lives, so we need to work together to conserve it. Rather than our water use peaking over summer, we want to try keep water use consistent throughout the year. Our Water Watchers Plan helps enable this.

Tauranga's 7-day average water use sits around 43.7 million litres of water per day and in previous summers has climbed to 58 million litres per day. After four dry summers in a row, the streams that supply the city with water remain lower than average. This means water use higher than 50 million litres per day will be unsustainable this summer.

Water use in this graph is reflected as a 'rolling' measure. This means daily numbers are expressed as a rolling average over 7 days - smoothing incidental peaks and highlighting trends instead of isolated extremes.

Here’s how water restrictions work in Tauranga

Water Watchers' plan is another Tauranga Water Conservation Project that encourages mindful water use year-round. To cope with the dryer summer season there are further restrictions in place each year from November to April.

How to be a more mindful water consumer

Being mindful about how we each use our share of the city's water supply is all it takes to reduce the city's overall consumption. Little changes add up to big savings, so scroll down for some great tips and inspiration to help you reduce any unnecessary water wastage.

You can also request a free home water conservation audit to review how water efficient your home is. It's a great way to find out if you’re losing water through leaks as well as getting some practical advice on saving water. You may also be eligible for a free low-flow shower head upgrade.

Water saving tips, inspiration and news

Restrictions amended to allow more watering of vege gardens

Posted: 14 November 2022

Water Watchers, the year-round plan for managing water in Tauranga, has been approved by Tauranga City Council to remain through to 2026.

Watching water use at home, at work, and in the community

Posted: 17 October 2022

After regular rain and a wet winter, water conservation may not be front of mind for many people.

Using less in the laundry

Posted: 15 October 2022

Up to a quarter of a household’s water is used in the laundry and hundreds of litres can be washed down the drain every day.

Bathroom water conservation tips

Posted: 14 October 2022

We’ve all heard variations of phrases like money down the drain, or job down the toilet, and it’s really no surprise that bathroom water use has become a metaphor for waste.

Watering gardens and lawns

Posted: 12 October 2022

Gardens and lawns are an area where huge amounts of water are wasted.

A thriving garden without wasting water

Posted: 11 October 2022

With some careful planning you can create a thriving water efficient garden that can be just as stunning and beautiful as a water intensive garden.


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