HARD work has paid off for businesses in the Tamworth Regional Council Water Sustainability Awards.
Large and small water users have come up with innovative ways to conserve the precious resource while the city continues to face drought.
TRC water and waste director Bruce Logan announced the big winners on Wednesday, and commended them for their efforts to cut back.
"On behalf of the council I'd like to thank all the supporters we got behind this initiative," he said.
"While it's disappointing we couldn't have a formal prize ceremony and a dinner as planned, I hope this further reinforces the message of trying to conserve water because our dams and storages remain at critically low levels."
Tamworth's Humes Holcim took home the Excellence in Water Efficiency Award for changes to their work site that drastically reduced water use.
The Commitment to Water Sustainability Award went to Tamworth Wizard Carwash, which despite increased use during Level 4 and 5 water restrictions still managed to decrease consumption.
Quest Apartments won the Adaption to Change Award and halved their water use.
The Innovation in Water Sustainability Award went to Tamworth Hospital for a $15,000 investment that saw it collect 50,000 litres of clean water that's a by-product of renal dialysis.
That water is now channeled into 44 toilets which will save 2.5 million litres of water each year.
And, it wasn't just businesses who took part in the awards.
Calrossy Anglican School student Breanna Rhodes won the high-school Creative Water Sustainability Award with 12 practical ways to conserve water.
While Nemingha Public School student Brandee Young created an attention-grabbing art piece that won the primary school award.