WATER carters may soon be forced to get water from outside the Tamworth Regional Council area, mayor Col Murray says.
The bulk water filling station at Attunga was closed a month ago because water carters were putting too much pressure on the groundwater supply supporting the village.
Recently, the council was also forced to shut the Bendemeer bulk water filling station, as its limited capacity "physically can't supply the amount of water that was being called for".
Cr Murray said there was community concern about the number of water carters filling up at Attunga and bringing the water back to Tamworth to top up pools or water gardens.
"That problem has now moved, and moved somewhat to Manilla," Cr Murray said.
"The council is monitoring that use very closely and monitoring water use for Manilla very closely."
If the availability of water continues to drop, the council may decided to stop allowing carters to fill up at the bulk refill stations, reserving the water for rural property holders.
"It may well be that as, and if, the drought escalates those water carriers might have to go outside our normal sources and into another valley, for example potentially Gunnedah or somewhere else," Cr Murray said.
"The reality is, our water reserves are diminishing. It is expected.
"We're taking the appropriate measures to preserve the water we do have."