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The Dunedin City Council has called on residents to cut down on water consumption because use had risen by almost a third.
Council three waters group manager Tom Dyer said water use across the city was averaging about 60,000cu m a day compared to 44,000cu m usually.
``The good weather is a great start to summer but, as in other areas across the country, things are drying out and water use in our city has been particularly high.''
The council asked people to be mindful of their water use over summer, and think about how much water they were using in their gardens, ponds, pools and when cleaning cars and boats.
Mr Dyer said residents could conserve water by using a watering can or hand-held hose for their garden, instead of a sprinkler.
Sprinklers should only be used for a short time in the evenings or early mornings.
Those actions could help avoid formal or more severe restrictions.
The council would advise the public when the measures are no longer needed.