Tougher water restrictions are now in force in two parts of Hokianga.
Far North District Council has banned the use of hoses for any purpose in Omapere and Opononi.
It is to apply for an increase in the allowable water take from small streams supplying the area - but says they can stand only so much pressure.
The council said water use will need to drop by 20% to see the drought through.
Market gardens and nurseries can now water crops only with council permission.
The council is appealing to other large volume commercial water users in the Far North to reduce consumption and said households must also play their part.