A TAMWORTH councillor has called for an overhaul to water supplies for new developments in the city as the drought worsens.
Helen Tickle wants the Tamworth Regional Council general manager to hand down a report investigating the use of grey water in new residential and commercial developments in the city.
It came as the council formally shot down a request to pursue recycled sewage as drinking water supply for the city, at Tuesday's ordinary meeting.
The councillors voted to delay any work on a direct potable reuse scheme until "some technological or some other change that could reduce issues identified".
The issues mainly revolved around a 50 per cent increase to water bills and waste disposal.
However, Cr Tickle steered recycled water debate away from sewage and wanted the council to now focus on grey water reuse.
She said it was unacceptable Tamworth had not made greater use of technology already available in this space.
"I would like a report come to council via the GM to cover the use of grey water in residential and commercial areas, particularly on new developments and sub-divisions," she said.
Cr Tickle also called for minimum rain water tank sizes on new residential properties to be upped to 10,000 litres.
In a comprehensive speech, she also criticised state and local government for putting "stumbling blocks" in front of current homeowners who wanted to make these changes.
The mayor Col Murray said Cr Tickle's address was potentially "out of order" but allowed it because it was a "hot topic" and he wanted to encourage debate.
"Let's lobby them and get support to implement new systems," she said.
"Let's be a leader."
Mark Rodda initially pushed for the recycled sewage scheme.
While he voted for delaying any work on such a project, he said it should be reconsidered in the near future.
"I believe it is the direction our council should be moving in as well as other rural councils," he said.
"Particularly those that are parched and being subjected to minimal rain events."
He said it was a "creative and innovative" solution.
He suggested Tamworth's potential adoption of a direct potable reuse scheme could be akin to the city's historic claim as the city of light.
Meanwhile, Phil Betts was reelected as deputy mayor for a further 12 months after he stood for the job unopposed.