TAMWORTH will be on level 5 restrictions before Chaffey Dam hits the 20 per cent trigger point.
Tamworth Regional Council water director Bruce Logan wouldn't reveal what date the city's harshest restrictions would come into effect.
But he did confirm the council would dive into it early.
Chaffey Dam had fallen to 20.8 per cent capacity on Thursday which means level 5 restrictions could be introduced by the end of the month, if current conditions persist.
"At this rate, we think by the end of this month we will be a lot closer," Mr Logan said.
"We have made the decision we will change the level of restrictions prior to it getting to 20 per cent.
"On the week we think it will get to 20 per cent, that's when we will advise everyone we are going to change."
Under the council's drought management plan, level 5 restrictions are enforced once Chaffey Dam hits 20 per cent capacity.
Once level 5 measures are in effect, the city will go into emergency demand mode.
The drought management plan outlines a range of actions the council will take, including a personal water use goal of 150 litres per day.
The plan involves a "major publicity campaign" focused on "shorter showers, washing machines only being used for full loads and reduced operation of evaporative air conditioners".
The campaign could also include mailing out shower timers to residential properties.
The drought management plan maxes out at level 5 restrictions but it does outline further measures should the region face a "severe water shortage".
"Non-essential business" will be asked to reduce water use initially by 30 per cent and then by 50 per cent in the event of a severe water shortage.
A new residential water use target could be introduced as well with a 100 litre per person per day suggested.