*Full list of water restrictions by LGA at bottom of story
AS the new year begins, only two local government areas in the New England and North West remain free of water restrictions.
Inverell Shire and Narrabri Shire are yet to impose any water restrictions, while the remaining 10 councils in the region are all on some form of water restrictions.
Inverell is supplied by the massive Copeton Dam. The dam is only at 5.8 per cent capacity, but still holds 79 gigalitres. For comparison, a full Chaffey Dam holds 100 gigalitres.
Despite the strong position, Inverell mayor Paul Harmon said in December council introduced permanent water conservation measures - which for more councils are considered the standard baseline for water use - for the first time in the shire's history.
"This was a responsible measure taken as a council - we have no guarantee of an endless supply, " Cr Harmon said.
"We want to preserve our supply for as long. That's what's at the forefront of our mind."
Narrabri mayor Cathy Redding declined the Leader's request for an interview.
In a statement, a council spokesperson said Narrabri Shire sourced its water from bores and was also on permanent water conservation measures.
"There is no imminent threat to town water supply in Narrabri Shire," they said.
"Unlike other drought affected areas in our region who rely mostly on surface catchment water, council has multiple water licences that we monitor across the local government area that are adequately meeting the supply requirements."
Uralla's water supply from Kentucky Dam is currently contaminated with naturally-occurring arsenic. Free bottle water is available for residents as council works to fix the problem.
Uralla and Bundarra were escalated to level five restrictions on January 5, and the water quality for Bundarra has become so poor, residents have been warned to boil their water before drinking it.
The Armidale shire is on level five restrictions. The city was down to less than a year's worth of water, however with residents heeding the call to limit use, its day zero was pushed back by more than three weeks.
It has roughly 370 days of water left without any inflows.
Tamworth, Moonbi and Kootingal are on Level 5 restrictions; Nundle is on Level 4; Bendemeer is on Level 3; and Attunga is on Level 1.
Manilla and Barraba are on Level 3, but will go up to Level 4 on January 20, which will mean the last two bulk water filling stations open to the public will be restricted to just registered water carters.
From the start of this year, Gunnedah Shire went to Level 1 restrictions. The shire is supplied by several groundwater bores.
In the Liverpool Plains, every town is on Level 1 water restrictions, except Werris Creek, which is on Level 2.
Since November, Walcha Shire has been on Level 5 restrictions and Glen Innes Severn has been on Level 4.
In Moree Plains Shire, Mungindi went to Level 5 on January 8;, while Boggabilla, Mungindi and Weemelah have been on Level 4 since November 11. There are no other restrictions elsewhere in the shire.
Water restrictions by LGA
- Tamworth: Level 5 in Moonbi, Kootingal, Tamworth; Level 3 in Barraba, Manilla and Bendemeer (Barraba and Manilla are going to Level 4 on Jan 20); Level 1 Attunga
- Armidale: Level 5
- Walcha: Level 5
- Uralla: Level 5 in Uralla and Bundarra
- Moree: Level 5 in Mungindi; Level 4 in Boggabilla, Mungindi and Weemelah
- Tenterfield: Level 4.7 in Tenterfield; Level 3 in Urbenville
- Glen Innes: Level 4
- Liverpool Plains: Level 1, except Werris Creek on Level 2
- Gunnedah: Level 1
- Gwydir: Level 1