Dubbo regional mayor Ben Shields is warning residents that the city "could run out of water next year" if there is not a greater effort to conserve it during an entrenched drought.
The mayor says the city is experiencing a "very real crisis" because of the drought which threatens to make Burrendong Dam an unreliable provider of water in less than a year.
"A continuation of the current extremely low inflows would place pressure on water security from Burrendong by as early as mid-2020," a WaterNSW spokesman has told the Daily Liberal.
But he confirmed a plan was in place to keep water flowing out of taps in the city as Dubbo Regional Council used $30 million provided by the state government to extend its bore field.
The plan includes the transfer of water from Windamere Dam to Burrendong Dam in late 2019 and then pumping of remnant dam water months later.
About 70 per cent of Dubbo's water supply comes from the river and 30 per cent from bores.
"We are in the midst of an unprecedented drought and there is little doubt this has led to a water crisis, not just for Dubbo but a large area of NSW," Cr Shields said.
"There is a very real risk, without the combination of substantial rainfall and some significant changes in the way we use and think about water, that the city could run out of water next year.
"I am pleased the state government has recognised the situation we are in and provided funding to help with water initiatives and ways to find alternative solutions to this very real crisis."