NEW HOMES will need to be built to conserve drinking water under proposed changes to Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) development controls.
There are six essentials as part of the plan that would see greywater reuse become a part of everyday life.
The water sensitive design measures are hoped to save the scarce commodity, and money for residents starting at the design stage of a new development, TRC councillor Helen Tickle said.
"The drought has definitely raised awareness as to the value of water and what we use it for," she said.
"It's highlighted what a valuable resource this is and it's vital for life, it's essential and people have definitely become very conscious of the value of water.
"Into the future we must look at what measures we can implement with grey water recycling and water sensitive design."
Homes will need to comply with three of six water sensitive design essentials in order to be fast-tracked through the development application process.
For all new buildings, pre-plumbing works to allow for recycled water would be a mandatory requirement, and larger developments would need to have a statement to show how it will meet reduction targets.
Subdivisions of more than 10 lots will also need a water sensitive design statement.
The council wants to encourage the community to use water efficient appliances, to install rainwater tanks, rain gardens, greywater diversion devices and greywater treatment devices, Cr Tickle said.
"Today's home builder may not want to recycle greywater, but in five or 10 years time they might want to - but you can't get to it because of the way the home has been built," she said.
"It's all about water sensitive design.
"We have generous incentives for people."
The proposal is available for public submissions on the TRC website for six weeks. After that, it will come back to the council for a decision.