WATER frustrations have boiled over between Tamworth Regional Council and the state government.
Councillors skewered Water Minister Melinda Pavey for "unaccountable" management of the precious resource after no changes were made to the Namoi and Peel River water sharing plans - despite the city still experiencing the worst drought on record.
The furore was spurred by a report to council proposing a $100,000 media campaign to have the public write to Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson to demand change.
The proposed water sharing plans completely disregard the impact of drought, floods and climate change by continuing to allow water releases, Cr Juanita Wilson said.
"The residents of TRC contributed millions to the building of Chaffey Dam and the augmentation, yet we pay more for our water than anywhere else in the state," she said.
"Our residents now are beginning to understand where water and unaccountable management sits and it sits with the state.
"It's not fair, it's not rational, it can't be explained and it can't be defended.
"We've been quiet for far too long and it's gotten us absolutely nowhere - to sit around a table with the Minister for Water [Melinda Pavey] for a day and then she's back on a plane to Sydney."
The council wrote to Ms Pavey in late-2019 to ask for the review of the plans to be held off until the drought was over to consider its full impact.
Instead, the plans still rely on data that's a decade old, and there's no mention of the economic impacts on a town like Tamworth if it runs out of water.
A minimum of 3ML of water will still be released from Chaffey Dam daily regardless of any need and the town water supply will return to flow down the Peel River instead of the new pipeline, which has no transmission losses, once the dam reaches 25 per cent.
The plan still draws from 2010 data to represent the lowest period of inflows into the dam, so the present drought which is the worst on record, will never be included in the inflow figures and allocations will not be amended to reflect its numerous challenges.
Councillor Glenn Inglis said he was astounded the plans would be based off 2010 data.
"In other words, the impacts emanation from the most recent drought are totally ignored," he said.
"Consultation is obviously just a tick the box exercise."
Councillors voted to support an amended motion that would see the $100,000 media campaign scrapped.
Instead, it will ask the public to make representations to MP Kevin Anderson on the water sharing plans and request Mr Anderson bring Ms Pavey to Tamworth to find a solution to the city's water supply problems.
Mr Anderson has publicly stated that changes need to be made to the Peel Valley water sharing plan.
"Despite the sporadic recent rain across the region, very little has fallen in our catchment and therefore limited flows have gone into Chaffey Dam. The current level is 14 per cent," he said.
"What deeply concerns me is that despite the low level, 30ML of water each week gets released from the dam to flow down the river for environmental reasons.
"I believe the environmental flows being released from the dam should be stopped."
The water sharing plans will be submitted to the Murray Darling Basin Authority by June 30.
The Leader will approach Water Minister Melinda Pavey for comment on Wednesday.