The Institution of Professional Engineers wants water meters to be mandatory in New Zealand houses.
The Institution of Professional Engineers says evidence shows consumers with meters use 40% less water than those who don't.
IPENZ says rapidly increasing domestic demand for water is placing supply at risk. It says water allocation and management lacks central leadership.
It says New Zealanders need to stop taking water for granted and treat it as a valuable natural resource in the same way other countries regard minerals or oil.
In a report issued on Tuesday, IPENZ says economic instruments must be used to control contamination, water allocation and demand.