WATER Minister Melinda Pavey maintains she has an obligation to meet the deadlines for the Peel and Namoi water-sharing plans, even if it means data on the worst drought in living memory is not included in them.
The June 30 deadline to submit the plans to the Murray Darling Basin Authoring is fast-approaching, and on a visit to Tamworth this week Ms Pavey said the current drought couldn't be included until it was over.
"There's a lot of commentary around this at the moment, but we have obligations under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan to submit our water sharing plans by the end of June which we are on track to do," she said.
"I join with the deputy premier [John Barilaro] in hoping that the Bureau of Meteorology predictions for July are accurate and we do get the rains that we had in 2016 that filled up all these dams, that's why we have the dams.
"It is a challenge and I do empathise very much with the community here, 16 months on water restrictions is a big challenge."
The state government has committed to create regional water strategies to individually manage the water supplies in each region for the next 20 years.
There are 12 regional water strategies to be created alongside water service providers, local councils and communities.
The Namoi is among them, but it's unclear if the the Peel system, which determines how the Tamworth town water supply is shared between the community and licence-holders is also.
Ms Pavey said the regional water strategies would 'lay over' the water sharing plans to determine how water was used in individual areas.
If the water sharing plans are not changed for the region it could be another decade until they are looked at again.
Tamworth Regional Council's (TRC) main issue with the plans are that it allows for water releases from Chaffey Dam until the dam reaches a low 10 per cent.
It's part of the reason why residents have been forced onto strict Level 5 water restrictions for the past eight months.
The council met with Ms Pavey on her visit and mayor Col Murray said it was still working through the points of contention with her.
"It comes down to the sharing of the water, we understand and acknowledge it's there for everyone but we have to ensure that the city gets its fair share," he said.
"I'm hopeful we will get a good result I don't think it's unreasonable what we're asking for.
"The important thing for our community is that we have the water in storage so we don't have to have restrictions."