STORMWATER harvesting is being touted as the game-changing idea that could put more water at Bathurst's disposal in times of drought.
Deputy mayor Bobby Bourke and councillor Warren Aubin want Bathurst Regional Council to investigate the possibility of building two small dams on the Kelso floodplains, behind Paddy's Hotel.
The area already does a good job of holding onto storm water, but said water is unable to be utilised without the appropriate infrastructure.
"The idea is, let's save the water," Cr Bourke said.
"When you have a storm, it's not going back into the river like you would think, it's going into the floodplain. We would be harvesting it."
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The key to harvesting the water would be to connect the storage dams to the nearby Winburndale pipeline.
"The Winburndale pipeline passes the floodplain here, so there's the possibility to pump the water when it's here into the water filtration plant," Cr Bourke said.
Putting the water through the filtration plant would allow it to be used for a variety of purposes, including drinking water, and the dam on the floodplain could also be used for recreational purposes.
Entrances to the area would be beautified to make the dams inviting to use, Cr Bourke said.
Cr Aubin said the overall water harvesting idea would be "a cost-effective way to help us drought-proof our city".
He and Cr Bourke estimated it to cost between five and eight million dollars, a figure they've based off the costs of a similar project in Orange.
The Blackmans Swamp Creek stormwater harvesting scheme is capable of providing around 1300 megalitres of additional water into Orange's raw water supply each year from the city's stormwater system, meeting around 25 per cent of the city's total water needs.
Figures released by Orange City Council in April revealed that the Macquarie River Pipeline and stormwater harvesting scheme added almost two months' worth of water to Suma Park Dam between October and March.
Orange mayor Reg Kidd said that, without the pipeline and stormwater harvesting system, Orange might have otherwise been in a precarious water situation.
Cr Bourke has already raised the idea of stormwater harvesting with council's general manager, taken it to a conference in Canberra and will be raising it with the NSW Government on Tuesday.
He also plans to take the idea to council's policy committee meeting on Wednesday, with the hope of getting other councillors behind the idea.
"Everyone has got to be on board with anything that would give us more water storage," Cr Aubin added.
Everyone has got to be on board with anything that would give us more water storage.Councillor Warren Aubin
While the feasibility of stormwater harvesting in Bathurst needs to be investigated, councillors Bourke and Aubin are hopeful that it would keep the city out of dire straits during the drought.
"The water harvesting that you could do isn't something that is going to last a year [of water usage], but it will be here to use when you need it," Cr Aubin said.
Cr Bourke said: "Warren and I don't want to be sitting back in another 10 years and saying we didn't do anything. We need to act now. The community wants us to act now."