ORANGE mayor Reg Kidd has encouraged Bathurst to follow its lead with stormwater harvesting as the regional city continues to see phenomenal results.
Snowfall in Orange over the weekend resulted in 52 megalitres of water ending up in the holding dams, taking them from 5.6 per cent to 30 per cent capacity.
"Our stormwater harvesting has been fantastic. We have two schemes now," Cr Kidd said.
His comments come after a trip to Sydney by Bathurst deputy mayor Bobby Bourke, who left filled with confidence that stormwater harvesting could go ahead.
He and fellow councillor Warren Aubin raised the idea last week, drawing inspiration from Orange's success.
They would like to see Bathurst Regional Council construct two small dams on the Kelso floodplains to collect stormwater that could be stored and used in times of drought.
The key to the success of the project would be connecting those dams to the Winburndale pipeline, so water could be bumped to the water filtration plant.
Cr Bourke, along with other council representatives, took the idea to Sydney last week and put it to Melinda Pavey, the state government's Minister for Water, Property and Housing.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole was also part of the discussions.
Cr Bourke said they seemed to think the stormwater harvesting was a good idea and were pleased that Bathurst was having important discussions about water security.
Speaking to the Western Advocate last week, Cr Bourke admitted that council had been "behind the eight ball" when it came to the drought.
He also said that he didn't release how serious the water problem was until more recently, but now he would be fighting hard for increased water security, starting with stormwater harvesting.
"It'll be like a gasworks site to me. I'll be bringing it up every month until it gets done," he said. "It want it in the budget this year or next year."
In addition to the stormwater harvesting proposal, council used the meeting in Sydney as an opportunity to discuss some of the other water security options it was considering.
"We have sought [the NSW Government's] assistance in terms of moving forward with some of our water security options that have been previously presented to council in my last report, including a pipleline from Chifley Dam," director of Engineering Services, Darren Sturgiss said at last week's council meeting.
Mr Toole welcomed the discussions between council and Ms Pavey, saying he was looking forward to further conversations that would help plan for the future.
"The NSW Government recognises the crippling impacts of this drought, having invested a record $1.8 billion in drought support measures," he said.
"We've also set up a $170 million Drought Stimulus Package to provide a boost to drought-affected regional communities, including $4.9 million for the expansion of Kelso Industry Park to facilitate and attract business development within the region.
"However, with level four water restrictions to come into place in October, we need to look at what else we can do to avoid water shortages in the future in Bathurst."