IF CHAFFEY Dam falls in to the low single figures, Tamworth's emergency services would take over the provision of the city's water, the mayor has revealed.
Tamworth Regional Council has formed a drought taskforce to prepare for the worst-case water scenario.
Mayor Col Murray said the main focus of the group was to "plan for what happens if we don't see any relief from rainfall".
Among the taskforce members are "very senior representatives from police" who would "lead the emergency management plans, if we get to that place".
"If it does get to an emergency - and we're certainly not approaching that yet, but we're planning for it - that's where the emergency services will take over the supply and management of water," Cr Murray said.
"There was some loose discussion around what that trigger might be. It will probably be somewhere in the order of three to five per cent left in Chaffey Dam.
"If we do the maths, the city is using around 18 to 20 megalitres of water, at five per cent we still have around 5500 megalitres left in the dam, so there is a couple of hundred days of water left."
The taskforce will also work closely with the region's large water users, such as poultry giant Baiada and the abattoirs - should water supply drop to a critical level, they may have to reduce production.
"That took up quite a bit of discussion," Cr Murray said.
"That'll be part of a plan we'll be putting together over time, to look at what those triggers might be when jobs become impacted."
Cr Murray said he was "very proud" of the city's water use, which was regularly a megalitre or two under the desired 18-megalitre a day target.
The taskforce, which also has representatives from various government departments, will meet once a month.