CHIFLEY Dam's slow rise since its lows of last summer brings to mind a philosophical question.
The question is this: how do you eat an elephant? And the answer, of course, is one bite at a time.
After a long period of below average rainfall, in which Chifley Dam has fallen through one psychological barrier after another, it was always going to be unlikely that the turnaround would happen quickly.
There was simply too much ground to be made up: a dry Campbells River catchment needed a sufficient soaking before it even started running, and then that water needed to start to fill a dry Chifley Dam.
Rain of a biblical intensity was possible (an east coast low in February added about 30 per cent to Sydney's Warragamba Dam almost overnight) but it was unlikely, so that left the more likely possibility of a long period of building the dam back up to follow the long period in which it was drained.
And so it has proven.
The dam was up 0.5 per cent when the latest reading was taken this week, which followed a 0.6 per cent rise the week before and 0.8 per cent rise the week before that - small gains, but gains nonetheless.
Despite a wet first half of the year - we're 150 millimetres above our long-term average rainfall - the dam has managed only to get to 37.1 per cent since it plumbed lows below 30 per cent at the start of 2020.
But each of those extra percentage points - hard won and much-needed - is valuable water in the bank.
The overall equation has also changed since the dire days of the height of last summer.
In the time since, Bathurst Regional Council has connected Winburndale Dam to a holding pond at the water filtration plant at Gormans Hill, giving the city an extra three megalitres a day if needed.
Work is continuing on a stormwater harvesting scheme and locals, despite the better outlook, continue to keep their water consumption low.
Most importantly, the city is getting regular rain and the catchment is wet.
Having a full Chifley Dam again seemed an impossible dream while we were battling our way through 40 degree days and the drought of a lifetime was raging.
But now there's been a change in the rainfall pattern and a change in the mood.
A full Chifley Dam still looks incredibly distant - but, as of this week, it was another 0.5 per cent closer.