PRELIMINARY construction work on the new Dungowan Dam is expected to begin before the end of the year.
However, key questions of ownership remain unanswered as the government forges ahead.
The NSW government has moved to fast-track the $480 million projects and announced a new "dam delivery team" within Water NSW.
Dungowan and Wyangala dams will be prioritised by the state government with deputy premier John Barilaro calling for "shovels in the ground" by the end of the year.
Water NSW will also fast-track the expressions of interest process to get the project moving quicker.
It comes after the government passed new legislation to bypass some checks and measures to build "critical water infrastructure".
While the government has fast-tracked parts of the project since its October announcement, mystery surrounds key questions about the $480 million dam.
The Leader put questions to Mr Barilaro about who would operate the dam and whether cost-recovery measures would result in inflated water bills for the region.
A spokesperson for the minister said "matters of custodianship" would be "considered throughout the construction phase and in consultation with council and other stakeholders".
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson welcomed the formation of the dam delivery team.
"This is about getting on with the job and the dam delivery team is overseeing the planning and development of the new Dungowan Dam, with preliminary construction to begin late this year," he said.