ONE of the nation's biggest water consultancy firms will open an office in Tamworth as the region's communities grapple with drought and dwindling supplies.
Next week, Hunter H2O will officially open a small office on Peel Street.
It is the company's first regional office with existing bases in Newcastle, Brisbane and Adelaide.
Principal planning engineer Naomi Schipanski will head up the Tamworth office.
She said it made a huge difference to the firm's clients to work with people live in the community and understand the issues faced.
"The business certainly understands the importance of having someone in the middle of it," she said.
"You don't really get a perfect picture of what is going on unless you have someone here."
The firm has worked with councils and other clients in the region for about 20 years.
Hunter H2O was brought in to pore over ever possible option to improve Tamworth's water security in 2015.
The company produced the "bulk water - long term options" report which listed a new Dungowan Dam as a preferred option.
Ms Schipanski said the engineering firm would be initially working with the Namoi Unlimited group and Armidale council.
She said the drought was obviously the biggest challenge facing councils in the region.
But the ways and means of mitigating that massive maelstrom would be driven by the councils and their communities.
"The councils really drive the projects," she said.
"We will look at anything from master planning to overall water sources and treatment.
"We have worked here for 20 years and we think we understand the challenges that face the community at the moment.
"We do our best to support the water managers and directors and how they want to proceed."
The Tamworth office will officially launch on next Tuesday, with presentations by Hunter H2O specialist staff with Brendan Guiney, the executive officer of the NSW Water.