TAMWORTH'S year-on-year water use is on a downward trend, despite the city's population growing by thousands over the past decade.
Tamworth mayor Col Murray said the city's yearly water use was roughly the same as it had been in 1990, when Tamworth only had a population of just over 35,000.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics report estimates the region sits at almost 62,000, with an increase of almost 8400 people since 2005.
Cr Murray said the downwards trajectory was the result of a combination of factors.
"It's a good statistic and the success is shared by residents and businesses, it's full marks to everyone concerned," Cr Murray said.
"I think the 2007/2008 dry period, that's when a lot of businesses efficiencies came in. There is a lot more focus on residential water saving right across the city now too.
"Certainly the technology in our systems are more efficient, now things like watering parks and playground are much more efficient than they use to be."
Cr Murray said the yearly water use stats showed that in an average rainfall year, Tamworth was more than capable of supporting an increased population and large water-using business like the abattoirs.
However, the drought had made it clear the city lacks adequate water storage to comfortably fend off dry period.
"I guess the concerning bit how is much more water saving can we achieve," Cr Murray said.
"The overriding signal is that we simply need more in the way of storage.
"Successive governments haven't responded to our long-term water security needs. This has put a lot of pressure on the state government to put water security measures in place."
Cr Murray said council would continue to investigate more water-saving measures.
"We need to think about our stormwater running down drains and in to the rivers," he said.
Chaffey Dam is currently sitting on 21.23 per cent. Tamworth, Moonbi and Kootingal will go to level 5 water restrictions when it hits 20 per cent, which is expected to happen within the next month.