ACTION against drought will cost Tamworth Regional Council an extra $18,800 every month.
Tamworth will move to emergency water restrictions as early as September if water levels at Chaffey Dam continue to drop at the rate they have in the last three weeks.
Specialist communications team GHD Australia has been engaged to help residents get the message at a $10,000 price tag every month.
"It has become apparent as the drought continues and Tamworth remains on high levels of restrictions, communication is increasingly important," the council's water sustainability officer Ian Lobban wrote in his report.
"Specialist communication advice and skills are now considered necessary to ensure Council is effectively communicating with the general public.
"Water and Waste has limited staff with skills in this area."
There isn't any money available in the current budget to fund the work, so it would need to be taken from the Water Reserve if approved by the council on Tuesday.
Council has brought a Hunter H2O consultant on board to work up a worst-case-scenario for the city once it moves to Level 5 water restrictions.
A Drought Response Model will estimate how many more months until Chaffey and Dungowan Dams are empty based on historical data.
A Regional Water Supply Task Force will be established to help the council identify what action to take as the city moves to Level 5 restrictions.
The extra $18,000 will also cover out-of-hours water patrols for $5,000 and an additional staff member for bore and rainwater tank inspections at $3,800 a month.
There's been a spike in the number of people who have requested rainwater and bore inspections since the city moved to Level 3 and 4 restrictions.
Councillors will vote on the spend on Tuesday.