The Hastings District Council is warning it will have to ban outdoor water use if residents do not conserve water.
The district water supply is struggling after the Havelock North bores were turned off after more than 5000 people caught a gastro bug from the town supply last year.
Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule said the council had raised water restrictions to level three in Hastings, Flaxmere, Bridge Pa and Havelock North.
Mr Yule said this was a response to pockets of homes across the district losing supply during peak times.
He said level three meant a total ban on sprinklers, but residents could use handheld hoses to water their gardens every second day, between 6am and 8am, and 7pm and 9pm.
Mr Yule said if there were no significant savings, the council would have to ban the use of water outdoors.