THE HALF-A-BILLION dollar new Dungowan Dam project isn't the solution to Tamworth's 'unreliable' water security problems as far as one community group is concerned.
Tamworth Water Security Alliance (TWSA) believes purified recycled water will provide the most stable option in times of drought and wants the local council and state government to get on board.
Member David McKinnon said the rising cost of water and the likelihood users will foot the bill for the construction costs of a new dam necessitates putting other options on the table.
"A third of an increase in water costs is just a bit of what's to come," he said.
"We don't have to search for the water, we just have to clean the water.
We don't have to search for the water, we just have to clean the water.TWSA member David McKinnon
"If we invested some money into a trial for industry first, the major stumbling block is purely the public as Toowoomba, London, Singapore and Perth are all looking at recycled water."
Purified recycled water uses wastewater that has been flushed down the toilet and household drains that goes through multiple treatment steps before it comes out of the tap.
It was a very real consideration in the town of Tenterfield two years ago when relentless drought seriously diminished the local water supply.
Tamworth Regional Council declined to comment on questions about the future of recycled water in town but a spokeswoman said it is "always interested in new technology and increasing our regions water security."
TWSA member Lyn Allen said Tamworth is the perfect place to pilot a purified recycled water scheme.
"We are hoping that the next stage of the Namoi Water Strategy will identify this option," she said.
"We need to see a comparison of costs against the proposed Dungowan Dam."
At least 35 cities across the world drink recycled water, and Mr McKinnon said the best way to change the perception about a tough pillow to swallow is the cost.
"If our water bills are going to go up by a third, and I know the option is there to pass it on to the user once the dam is in place - we really do have to see other options," he said.
"I can't for the life of me think people want to pay a third up and that's only the beginning - do we need education or to be motivated by our wallets?"
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