Water restrictions in force in Wellington
Residents have been asked to reduce their water consumption, after it reached a November high not seen since 2012, Radio NZ reports.
They have been told they can water their gardens only every second day, and only between 6am and 8am in the morning, and 7pm and 9pm in the evening.
Water patrols are starting this week to make sure the rules are followed.
Wellington Water said the water restrictions begin every year with daylight savings, but were not usually enforced until later in the summer, with patrols and increased publicity of restrictions traditionally starting after Wellington Anniversary Day in January.
Spokesperson Jeremy McKibbin said unless locals were judicious about their water use, stronger restrictions might have to come in.
"Value every drop because we really do need to conserve water, otherwise we're going to have to go to more serious water restrictions - an outdoor water use ban or maybe a sprinkler ban - something like that to bring the demand down."
Wellington Water said water use had decreased since people were reminded of water restrictions last week. ■