Federated Farmers is calling on rural communities to take urgent action to increase water storage, before droughts cause another disastrous season.
Waikato branch president Stew Wadey says farmers are still suffering from last summer's drought, and many are nervous about the upcoming season.
He said members have to be prepared to drum up the millions of dollars needed to increase water storage, as farmers cannot wait for local or central government to suggest a solution.
Mr Wadey said another drought could ruin some farmers.
He pointed to the construction of South Canterbury's Opua Dam ten years ago, saying the $30m outlay was worth it because several hundred shareholders now use the water to irrigate about 16,000ha of land.