Tamworth Regional Council will spend $17,500 to buy 350 megalitres of water on the open market and refill the Scott’s Road drift wells.
The decision was made Tuesday 28th July at the council meeting after advice from the state government that the council could not begin extractions on the 1st July as they had previously planned to do.
Tamworth Regional council self-reported an over-extraction of water in the 2019-2020 water year and are currently being investigated by the Natural Resource Access Regulator (NRAR).
The decision to buy water on the open market did not slide through easily with most councillors letting their disdain for the difficult choice be known.
Deputy Mayor Councillor Phil Betts said the idea of the previously extracted water being in breach makes "his blood boil", as the water is intrinsically linked to rivers.
Councillor Russell Webb called the entire situation "a bit of a mess" and said he believes the state governments modelling is flawed despite admitting he himself is not a hydrologist.
Cnr Webb also lamented that the community blames the council for the breach and does not really understand the situation and lack of clear guidance given by the state government.
Councillor Juanita Wilson said the council made the choice based on critical human need and the state government did not respond in a timely manner.
The $17,500 to buy water had not been allocated in the current budget and therefore the money will be made available form the Water Reserve.