TAMWORTH MP Kevin Anderson has called for an "urgent" change to the Peel Valley water sharing plan, which governs the use of water in Chaffey Dam.
A new water sharing plan for the Peel and the Namoi rivers is expected to be submitted to authorities by the end of June, but it's come under heavy fire from Tamworth Regional Council, and now, Mr Anderson.
"I'm calling for the plan to be reworked to better reflect the current climate, environment and community usage," he said.
Despite Mr Anderson advocating for the plan to be reworked, Tamworth councillors will decide at Tuesday's general meeting whether to spend $100,000 of the city's water reserve budget to help lobby Mr Anderson and the state government to amend the plan.
Mr Anderson's main concern is environmental releases, which see 30 megalitres of water per week to gush out of Chaffey Dam and down the Peel River.
Mr Anderson said he was "deeply" concerned that water is still being released despite the dam plummeting and severe water restrictions on Tamworth.
"I am advised that the current water sharing plan and emergency management dictates that environments flows will continue until the water level in the dam reaches a low of 10 per cent, then the environmental flows stop," he said.
"In my view that's not enough of a buffer. That's way too low and way too late, and it puts the Tamworth community and other water users in a very risky position."
Chaffey Dam is Tamworth's main water supply and has been hovering at around 13 to 14 per cent in recent months, despite rainfall across the region in the first three months of the year.
On Tuesday, WaterNSW data showed Chaffey Dam was sitting at 13.8 per cent capacity.
Mr Anderson said on Tuesday a "complete rethink" of the management of water during drought time is necessary to shore up a supply for the city.
WaterNSW have previously told the Leader the hotly contested releases are required under the planning approval conditions for the Dungowan weir, which was installed late last year.
A spokesperson from WaterNSW said although rules are normally outlined in the Peel Valley water sharing plan, the environmental releases from Chaffey Dam are actually additional conditions "placed on WaterNSW" by the state government as part of the planning process for the weir.
"I support our local community, and Tamworth Regional Council and will continue to lobby government because we need to do all we can to save what water we have in the dam for a long as possible," Mr Anderson said.