THERE is less than 1100 megalitres of water standing between Tamworth and level one water restrictions.
Chaffey Dam is sitting around 41 per cent capacity and a drier than average December for the city means level one restrictions could be less than three weeks away.
Once the dam falls to 40 per cent capacity, Tamworth Regional Council will ask residents to rein in their water use and enforce level one water restrictions.
Since the start of December, more than 3500 megalitres of water have been lost from the dam, while only 51.6mm of rain fell in Tamworth throughout the month.
The overall rainfall for December was down almost 40 per cent on the long-term average of 84.9mm.
With very hot and dry days predicted for at least the next seven days, average water consumption could increase and force council to impose restrictions earlier than expected.
Last week, council water director Bruce Logan said the average water consumption in Tamworth was “between 20 and 25 megalitres a day”.
He said it was lower than expected and suggested rainfall earlier in the month had stemmed usage.
“The message is for Tamworth to continue to use water sustain-ably and if you can conserve water, don't use it in the garden if you don’t have to, because at this rate we will be introducing restrictions early in the new year,” he said.
Dungowan Dam was sitting at 34.73 per cent of its 6.3 gigalitre capacity before Christmas. Council has been primarily been drawing water from Chaffey this year with Dungowan falling only 20 per cent since the start of 2018.
Split Rock Dam is at 4.7 per cent of it 397.37 gigalitre capacity.
Currently, Bendemeer is on level one restrictions.
Manilla remains on level two, while Nundle has level three limits imposed, everywhere else has permanent water conservation measures in place.
Under level one restrictions, people are able to use fixed sprinklers but it is limited to two hours a day, between 6pm and 8pm at night during daylight saving time.