INVESTIGATIONS are under way to find groundwater that could potentially supplement the supply of water in Chifley Dam.
In April, Bathurst Regional Council chose to go ahead with a search for groundwater after a lack of rainfall.
Engineering services director Darren Sturgiss said a consultant was engaged to explore potential groundwater sources on a staged basis.
"The first stage included a desktop study and report based on satellite, aerial and ground-based geoscience data, literature and GIS data review to identify possible groundwater sources within a 20-kilometre radius of the Bathurst Water Filtration Plant," he said.
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This stage alone cost council $20,000.
The second stage, at a cost of $60,000, will be carried out in the coming weeks when a contractor visits Bathurst to investigate around 200 sites.
The sites follow a 10-metre wide channel and were determined based on the results of the stage one investigation and the recommendations of the consultant geologist.
"We actually have seismic investigations occurring across the floodplain as a second stage to our bore water investigation," Mr Sturgiss said.
"That contractor will be in Bathurst shortly. They were meant to be here before now but were actually required to go to Tenterfield which is in a much worse situation.
"That approach is occurring in the next few weeks with an investigation of approximately 200 sites for potential bores across the floodplain."
Investigations will involve a seismoelectric and electrotelluric survey of each sample point. Should any water be found, council will assess whether it can be used to boost Bathurst's water supply.
We actually have seismic investigations occurring across the floodplain as a second stage to our bore water investigation.Engineering services director Darren Sturgiss
"If both the quantity and the quality of the water are assessed as being adequate, council will consider approval timeframes, cost and water secured to determine whether it will proceed with the installation of bore(s) to extract water and supplement the current supply of water to the water filtration plant," Mr Sturgiss said.
The groundwater investigation is among a number of options council is considering to extend the life of the city's water supply.
Water restrictions across the Central West ...
Mr Sturgiss recently said that council was after short-term solutions as, on current projections, Chifley Dam would run out of usable water in December 2020.
Another idea under consideration is stormwater harvesting, suggested by new mayor Bobby Bourke and councillor Warren Aubin.
A similar initiative rolled out in Orange has proven very effective.
Council is also using water restrictions as a way to conserve water, with Stage 4-5 restrictions to be imposed on October 14.
Under those restrictions, residents will not be permitted to water their lawns and will be limited to watering gardens for half an hour only on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Residents will also be expected to take four-minute showers.