IT'S unlikely the region will see any funding for large-scale water infrastructure developments in the state government's upcoming budget, Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson says.
The NSW government has billions from the Snow Hydro sale set aside for water security projects.
However, Mr Anderson said that money won't be allocated to the Namoi and Peel catchments until the government finishes a study, which was only started in April, that identifies the best path forward.
"We've got to have the idea before the money," Mr Anderson said.
"Otherwise it's cart before the horse stuff."
In April, the NSW government announced it had started the Namoi Regional Water Study, which aims to "consider all viable options to improve water security".
Mr Anderson said he didn't know how long it would take to finish, but said it had been "fast tracked".
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A spokesperson for NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey said the study was due to be finished by the end of 2020.
"There are about four or five different options at the moment, the Namoi Regional Water Study is still working on those options," Mr Anderson said.
The Leader asked Mr Anderson if it was possible to get funding before the study had been finished, so whatever project was settled on could be started straight away.
"You can't allocate money if you don't know what you're allocating it to, and how much you need," Mr Anderson said.
"Again, we have to find the right plan. Everyone keeps throwing up ideas. If you put 10 people in a room and talk about water, you'll have 20 opinions.
"I really want a project that we all agree on, then we can get the funding for it and get cracking."
Mr Anderson and representatives from Tamworth and Walcha council meet with NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey earlier this month to discuss the study.
"We had a really good conversation and looked at options," Mr Anderson said.
"I've got another meeting with Tamworth council in the next week or two about the next stage of the water strategy, how do we progress."