ONE councillor has claimed the city could have lost up to 500 days worth of water because of a number of recent state government decisions.
On the same day the NSW water minister flew into Tamworth with a $39 million drought-busting announcement in tow, the council gave the government a serve over its management of Chaffey Dam.
The dam is the city's current primary supply of water.
And as the council met for its ordinary meeting on Tuesday night, water supply was front of mind.
The council voted unanimously in favour of making a quite critical submission to the Natural Resources Commission's review of the Peel water sharing plan.
The draft submission describes the current water sharing arrangement as "flawed" and not providing adequate security for the city.
It also suggested the Chaffey pipeline solution could lead to a "ludicrous" scenario leaving council with no additional water allocations.
Glenn Inglis - at Tuesday's council meeting - called on the mayor to meet with the minster and request an independent review of some decisions.
He said sanctioned environmental releases had allowed 10,000 megalitres to be let go from the dam on two occasions.
He said it equated to about 336 days worth of water.
Cr Inglis hinted at another recent decision which could have ramifications.
He only referred to it as "request to the minster to take a certain action".
But the subsequent rejection could have equalled a further 184 days of use, by Cr Inglis' calculation.
Rounding down his estimate, he said "let's call it 400 days".
"That's in excess of a year's worth of water if we had different decisions," he said.
"We need to be accountable for our decisions whether we are politicians, councillors or bureaucrats, so we can learn and make better decisions.
He called on Col Murray to request an independent review of the decision "made through this critical time".
He said it could result in new "triggers" being put in place which could "vary" those previous actions.
"If it means better decision making for the future, we will all benefit from that," he said.
Russell Webb backed Cr Inglis on the need for a review.
"One thing this drought has done," he said.
"It has highlighted some of the shortfalls all levels of government and how water is managed in this state.
"We need to give serious consideration to the ways water has been wasted in the past."
Mark Rodda highlighted the council didn't have overall control of what came out of the dam, but ratepayers had been good at curtailing personal use.