THE WATER breach at the Scott Road Drift Wells has made councillor Phil Betts' "blood boil" and he doesn't believe Tamworth Regional Council should have to pay for water extracted from wells intrinsically linked to the Peel river.
The council will spend an estimated $17,500 to buy 350ML of water on the open market, after it took "well in-excess" of its allocation earlier this year.
The breach has been reported to the Natural Resource Access Regulator (NRAR) for investigation.
"We've been in negotiations over the years, I can remember numerous occasions where we have tried to negotiate with the various authorities that those wells are intrinsically linked," Cr Betts said.
"The fact that they didn't give any clear indication to stop or keep going when we were in a dire situation at that time.
"My blood boiled and I will certainly support the motion."
Councillor Russell Webb said he believed modelling from state government agencies was flawed and did not correctly represent the impact taking water had on the river or nearby users.
"This is a bit of a mess and it really is a problem because we haven't been given clear guidance from bureaucrats at a state level," he said.
"Council are getting the blame around the community for taking more water than we should of, so we are getting the blame for doing the wrong thing.
"The community don't actually understand that our water staff worked tirelessly for a month or so trying to get permission to continue to take water from those wells while the river was flowing - understanding that those wells are fed from the river that's flowing, not impacting on anybody or the river itself.
"We're trying to provide the best outcome for our community and we get into trouble for it from the bureaucrats who in my mind from the way they have described the impact on the water levels don't actually know what they're talking about."
Councillor Mark Rodda said he understood the water was to be used for critical human needs so it wasn't fair that ratepayers should have to fork out for it, but that "rule makers can't be rule breakers".
While councillor Juanita Wilson said the entire situation "defies logic" when the council had little to no response from the state government on whether it could continue to take water.
NRAR has advised the council the outcome should be released in the next two months.