THE rains are here, but the drought is far from over.
Recent rainfall has turned Tamworth a bright shade of green, but it's done little to fill the town water supply in Chaffey Dam.
The dam levels have risen just 0.27 per cent, to 13.63 per cent. That's not even close to the tipping point to come off Level 5 water restrictions.
There is concern that the rain might be mistaken as drought-breaking, Tamworth Regional Council director of water and waste Bruce Logan said.
"We have had significant rain in Tamworth but it hasn't fallen in the catchment of Chaffey Dam," he said. "It means the dam remains at 13.6 per cent which is still not much higher than it was at the peak of the drought."
The city remains on Level 5 water restrictions until capacity hits 25 per cent.
Residents of Tamworth, Moonbi and Kootingal have guzzled water at the same rate, around 16.2 megalitres per week.
But, there is concern that once the weather warms up and lawns start to dry out, some could be tempted to pull out the garden hose.
We aren't out of the woods yet, Mr Logan said, with Dungowan Dam water tainted by silt from bushfires and given little relief from rain.
"In terms of the countryside we are better off but in terms of our storage, and that's even at Split Rock or Lake Keepit, it's just not significant enough to the extent the drought is broken," he said.
The town water supply comes from Chaffey Dam, which governs restrictions.
Level 1 water restrictions won't come into place until the dam reaches 50 per cent.
There needs to be a significant rain event to even get close to 25 per cent full, Mr Logan said.
"The council will definitely review the Drought Management Plan, but only when there's enough water," he said.
"I don't think there's any value now because if we made the trigger point 30 per cent it doesn't change our present situation.
"Once the drought is broken we will review it and I expect the council will seek the public's ideas as well in that review."
Construction of a new $480 million dam, the first NSW in 30 years, at Dungowan is expected to start at the end of the year and be completed by about 2025.