THE new pipeline from Chaffey Dam should see Tamworth through the drought, the state's regional water supply coordinator says.
James McTavish said the emergency drought measure should take care of the city's basic water needs.
"That's the plan - while we are wishing and hoping for rain, we need to plan for solutions in the meantime," Mr McTavish said.
"Ironically, there is quite a substantial amount of water in Chaffey, but the efficiency of delivering it via the river is low."
The next step in the pipeline process is to consult landowners, farmers and business that may be affected by the pipeline, which is expected to leave the Peel running dry.
"Whether it be an intensive livestock operation - like a feedlot or chicken production - or a farmer, we need to get a good handle on what the impact will be," Mr McTavish said.
"From there, we can form some policies to minimise the impact."
While council and the state government are confident the pipeline will meet the city's needs, they are still looking at other options, such as reactivating the Paradise Wells.
"We're working on some of the issues around the licensing of those bores," Mr McTavish said.
"There are restrictions about what you can take from them when the flow of the river drops below a certain threshold.
"We're looking at what we can do to get around that."
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While some towns like Murrurundi, Guyra and Tenterfield are carting water in, that was "never an option" for Tamworth.
In fact, Mr McTavish doubts there would be enough water tankers available in the state to meet the city's demands.
"The reality is water carting is very expensive, extraordinarily ineffective and requires a logical capacity that doesn't exist, particular for a town the size of Tamworth," he said.
"It is simply not doable."