Water rationing in parts of the Tasman District will be in place from tomorrow.
Low river and groundwater levels on the Waimea Plains were earlier than usual, Tasman District Council dry weather taskforce convenor Dennis Bush-King said.
Growers needed to prepare for the possibility conditions could dry up before Christmas, as rainfall was about 40 percent short of expectations for this time of year.
Stage one rationing will be in place from tomorrow, which means a 20 percent cut in the amount of water permit holders can take from certain areas within the catchment.
Water restrictions are also now in place for residents in urban areas of the district.