Despite seven weeks without much rain, Palmerston North is likely to escape hosing restrictions this autumn.
Council water asset engineer Dora Luo said the city still had as much water stored at the Turitea Dam as it did at the same time last year, when restrictions were introduced in early summer.
Ms Luo said no rain was forecast for the next week, but cooler temperatures were helping reduce water demand, relieving pressure on water stores.
She said there were costs involved with bringing in water restrictions, advertising and monitoring them, and then lifting them again.
"Given the time of year . . . we will hold our breath for now, and review it on a weekly basis."
Continued efforts by most residents to use water wisely would help the city get through.
"There have been a few cases reported where people are irrigating excessively, which lets the water overflow concrete paths, and ponding in the roads.
"They are certainly not helping."
Last autumn sprinkler bans persisted into April, and Palmerston North came close to a total ban on outdoor water use before the drought broke.
- Manawatu Standard
If you had a choice, which would you prefer on Christmas day?Related story: Sun takes a Christmas holiday