People in the Far North who flout the water ban will face tougher penalties as supplies reach a critical level.
The district council says drought conditions have worsened and weather predictions show there will be at least two more weeks with no rain.
In January, Kaitaia residents were asked to reduce water consumption, but the council says this request has had little effect.
Infrastructure and asset manager David Penny says the time for voluntary savings is coming to an end.
Mr Penny says the council will take a tougher stance on anyone who does not conserve water and will shut down all or part of some businesses if it will ensure more water in people's homes.