The state government is opening the flood gates on Tamworth's water security.
The NSW Minister for Water Rose Jackson announced the roll out of a new Namoi Regional Water Strategy, promising a "safer, more secure and sustainable water supply".
"We know Tamworth's dams can go from full to empty within six years, which is why the strategy shows we need to tackle this problem from all angles by implementing not one, but several options to shore-up water security," Ms Jackson said.
These options include a much-discussed water purification plant and a newly-announced 10 gigalitre off-river storage facility at Piallamore.
The new strategy also recommends investigations into the feasibility of inter-valley pipelines that would link Tamworth to Keepit Dam, Split Rock Dam and the Manning Valley.
Linking Tamworth to these water sources would require building hundreds of kilometres of pipes, but the Water Minister says the government would "take advantage of existing infrastructure".
"There is also a list of water efficiency and demand management options that could be implemented fairly quickly including fixing leaking pipes and old meters to make water supplies go further," the minister said.
She also said the plan would invest heavily in protecting groundwater aquifers for smaller towns in the region to use.
"The strategy also recommends implementing the floodplain harvesting reform, improving fish passage to increase movement along rivers, investigating initiatives to boost connectivity with the Barwon-Darling River and exploring ways to improve water quality and the health of our rivers," Ms Jackson said.
The strategy has a 20-year time frame, with some actions already under way and others to be rolled out in the next 12 months.
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