THE NSW government has revealed how much water from Chaffey Dam was released to irrigators and Tamworth residents during the past financial year.
Water NSW has released the annual operation plan for the previous water year, which follows the financial calendar.
Over the 2018/19 water year, Chaffey Dam supplied 8900 megalitres for town water and just over 9300 megalitres to general security irrigators.
Those figures represent 8.9 per cent and 9.3 per cent of Chaffey's total capacity, for a combined total of 18.2 gigalitres.
The report does not paint the full picture, as it doesn't reveal how much was supplied to high-security water licence holders.
At the start of the 2018/19 water year, Chaffey Dam was sitting at 56.2 per cent. By the end of it, the dam had dropped to 23.17 per cent.
Water NSW predicts the total water use in the Peel Valley for the current water year (2019/20) is "likely to be in the order of 8000 megalitres", however river transmission losses are "expected to be high due to dry conditions".
The past 24 months have seen record low inflows of just 6200 megalitres. The previous lowest 24-month inflow was 13,100 megalitres.
"While water has been allocated to towns and high security users in the valley, Water NSW's ability to deliver the water during the year will be dependent upon system inflows," the report states.
The report also disclosed Chaffey's dead storage - the point at which water drops below the release outlet - as 2.4 gigalitres, or 2.4 per cent.
There was one ray of hope in the otherwise bleak report, with a one in three chance of above average rainfall this summer.
"There is a 35 to 40 per cent probability of the Peel Valley receiving above average rainfall during the December 2019 to February 2020 period," the report stated.
"Weather patterns can change - especially over summer where northern NSW can see increased rainfall with the northern monsoonal season."