TAKING extra water from Winburndale Dam to supplement supplies from Ben Chifley Dam could help stave off tighter water restrictions for Bathurst residents, say two councillors.
Deputy mayor Bobby Bourke and Cr Warren Aubin both signalled their intention to raise Winburndale as an option during council's monthly meeting on Wednesday night.
It comes as a report to councillors from engineering services director Darren Sturgiss has recommended they hold a working party on the question of water restrictions, including a possible ban on watering lawns and a limit of four-minute showers.
Cr Bourke said he could not understand why the option of taking water from Winburndale and directing it through the water filtration plant for general use had not been take more seriously to this point.
"Winburndale's almost full but we only use that water on council's parks, gardens and sporting fields," he said.
"And while it's important that we keep our parks and gardens looking good, I think the ratepayers who pay to maintain Winburndale should have access to that water for their own properties as well."
Bathurst Regional Council currently has a licence to take 1000 megalitres a year from Windburndale and uses nearly all of that each year. It would need to apply for a much larger allocation to make general use possible.
In addition, the water that goes on parks and sporting fields is raw water so it would have to be filtered for human consumption.
However, the pipes infrastructure between Winburndale and the water filtration plant is already in place.
Cr Aubin also believed the plan had merit.
"There's 1.7 gigalitres of water in Winburndale and it's almost full," he said. "But when the dam does overflow we see none of it.
"It's raw water that goes on the parks but we just want to see it brought into the filtration plant so we can use some of it in the town supply."
Winburndale is a much smaller dam than Chifley - about six per cent of its capacity - but both councillors believe it holds enough water to provide some breathing space for residents before considering tighter water restrictions.
Mr Sturgiss said Bathurst used 992 megalitres of its 1000ML allocation from Winburndale in 2017/18.
"Council pays an entitlement charge and a usage charge on that water from Winburndale Dam. These charges are catered for in the management plan," he said.
Winburndale is currently at 92.4 per cent capacity with Chifley Dam at 44.5 per cent.