IT may not have been a popular decision, but there is no doubt that water restrictions have made a difference in Bathurst.
The controversial decision to implement water restrictions took effect in November after Chifley Dam failed to rise to 75 per cent.
Generally, the water level has continued to fall since then and, as of the last reading, currently sits at 51.5 per cent.
That figure means the dam has sat below 60 per cent capacity for 46 consecutive weeks, or more than 10 months.
However, councillor Jess Jennings said Bathurst would likely be facing a far worse situation now if council didn't implement restrictions when it did.
"What we've seen is these level three restrictions have probably, more than likely, stopped us from going to level four restrictions," he said.
"The good people of Bathurst have reduced their daily water consumption by between a third to a half, so that has meant we have been able to be in a stronger position now leading into winter and we're certainly not at the moment having to contemplate level four."
Level four-five (extreme) restrictions start when the dam drops to 29 per cent.
If the dam falls below 16 per cent, level six (critical) restrictions will come into effect, which means watering lawns or gardens, washing cars, filling up pools or water features and washing hard surfaces would no longer be permitted.
Residents would also be restricted to three-minute showers.
While water restrictions have improved the situation, Cr Jennings said it was still "massively concerning" that the dam hasn't had a major recharge.
"We're still by no means out of the woods. If we don't get enough recharge between now and next summer, then we're going to be in a really serious position, possibly more serious than we were leading into this summer we just had," he said.
The dam level was around 30 per cent lower than it traditionally is heading into summer last year and the recommendation to move to water restrictions was largely made in response to that, and out of concern for the following summer.
Cr Jennings said he feels most residents are taking the situation seriously and abiding by water restrictions, but they have to continue to be mindful to ensure Bathurst is in the strongest possible position for the 2019-20 summer.