TWO people from opposite sides of the political divide have come together to lobby for an ambitious multi-billion-dollar idea, which they say would solve the region's water woes forever.
New England Nationals chair Russell Webb and Tamworth Country Labor's Stephen Mears want to see a massive desalination plant on the coast, turning seawater in to drinking water, which would then be pumped in to Chaffey Dam through hundreds of kilometres of pipeline.
The desalination plant would need its own power plant and once it fills or partly fills Chaffey, the excess water would be released in to the Peel River, making its way through the region all the way out to Walgett and beyond.
It might sound like a pie-in-the-sky concept, but the idea is rooted in reality. The pair have based the plan off the Ras Al Khair desalination plant in Saudi Arabia.
Mr Mears said the Saudi Arabian plant is able to produce up to 1000 megalitres a day.
"That would fill an empty Chaffey Dam in 100 days," Mr Mears said.
"You could have Chaffey at 60 per cent permanently, which is going to help Tamworth grow as a major city.
"Then you can run the rest of the water along the river, which would benefit all those farming communities."
Mr Webb reached out across the political divide when he heard Mr Mears speaking about the idea during the state election as the Tamworth Labor candidate.
"This is beyond politics, this is about the region," Mr Webb said.
"The benefits are many fold. Everything benefits from it; jobs, the irrigation industry and the environment - all will be looked after because you'll never be out of water.
"There are endless opportunities for the communities that would be fed by this."
The pair acknowledge the project could cost well in excess of $10 billion, however both agree "it would pay for itself".
"It's a generational investment, that will create generational wealth, which will more than pay for the investment because it's going to be there forever," Mr Webb said.
"It'll create huge growth and profit. It won't take that many years for the tax generated from the prosperity created to pay it back."