IRRIGATORS will still not be able to use water that came down in the weekend's showers.
The downpour brought with it enough water to trigger general security use in the Peel, Namoi and Macquarie river catchments.
But, as the drought wears on the federal government department responsible for water decided to protect the extra water for town water supplies, stock and domestic basic landholder rights.
Water supplies in the lower Namoi are at critically low levels and have to be protected for critical human needs, Department of Industry - Water executive director Rachel Connell wrote in a report.
"Replenishment flows have been foregone until now and water is being carted to homesteads," she said.
"The Barwon-Darling is also at stage 4 ... and if a restriction is put in place there is a possibility of flows from both Macquarie and Namoi Valley's reaching the Barwon."
It's hoped a connection of the Namoi River, and the Macquarie River to the Barwon River will help prevent the devastating fish kills seen earlier in the year.
The protections should retain water in Lake Keepit to avoid any further fish kills.