NEW buildings will have to be designed with water sensitivity in mind if Tamworth Regional Council adopts changes to its Development Control Plan.
The aim is to reduce potable water consumption and improve the quality of stormwater without making it too expensive for developers.
It's just one arm of the council's plans to reduce water use as the city continues to face what TRC water and waste director Bruce Logan called an "unprecedented" drought at a press conference last week.
"What we're in now is the worst drought on record, what we thought was the worst possible case that could happen has now been surpassed," he said.
What we're in now is the worst drought on record, what we thought was the worst possible case that could happen has now been surpassed.Bruce Logan
"If we are in this situation where the dam [Chaffey] still hasn't risen significantly and we're coming into the hotter months we're going to have to look at how we can reduce our water consumption."
Houses will have to meet three out of six water sensitive design essentials to be fast-tracked through the development application process, if councillors vote to support the changes on Tuesday night.
The six options are installing water efficient appliances, a rainwater tank, a rain garden, a greywater diversion device, greywater treatment device or plumbing for recycled water.
The council has financial incentives on offer in the hopes of increasing the uptake of water saving tools through its Water Saver Rebate Scheme.
Up to 50 per cent of the purchase and installation costs for some water saving products can be claimed back from the council.
Commercial, industrial and other big residential developments will have to have a water saving design statement to show how the proposed development will meet the targets.
If adopted, the council will work with plumbers, builders and property developers to encourage them to think about greywater reuse.
The changes to the development control plan would then go on public exhibition for 28 days.