TAMWORTH mayor Col Murray is confident the state government will pour some money into a short-term solution for the city with no drought break in sight.
The NSW government pledged $750 million towards additional drought relief measures, this week, but no money for new water infrastructure projects was forthcoming.
Cr Murray said the council had met with water minister Melinda Pavey and her department in recent weeks and he'd noticed a change in attitude from the government.
For the first time in nine years as mayor, Cr Murray said he actually felt like he "was at the table" when it came to decision making with Water NSW.
He said some recommendations had been made regarding Tamworth's water situation, including reducing the amount of water lost from Chaffey releases.
One project floated in Water NSW's "20-Year Infrastructure Options Study" to increase security in the Peel catchment included a 10 gigalitre off-river storage upstream of Tamworth valued at $187 million.
"The main issue with the way we receive water from Chaffey Dam, at the moment, it comes down the river and there is quite significant losses," Cr Murray said.
"There is significant losses on the way down and once the surface water irrigation is finished at the end of this financial year, June 30, those losses will still continue to happen, and we still believe there is some correlation between surface water and groundwater.
"We have asked the minister to temporarily suspend part of the water sharing plan that relates to groundwater."
While he said expanding water infrastructure would be important for local councils looking to safeguard their communities for the future, he emphasised there were long and short-term needs.
"Our immediate problem is to get through the end of this drought without running out of water," he said.
"That's what council's focusing on at the moment, alongside our long term security, which we believe that solution is looking more and more like another Dungowan Dam."
There was an option in the 20 year study to upgrade Dungowan's capacity almost tenfold to 60 gigalitres with a half a billion dollar price tag.