The proposed roll-out of smart water meters to 17,700 homes and 2300 businesses across the Dubbo region is being called a "big brother" move and waste of money.
A Dubbo woman, known to the Daily Liberal, wants ratepayers to have a say on whether they get a smart meter.
The woman, who asked for anonymity, says existing meters can easily be read allowing households and businesses to monitor their use of water.
"Do we want to spend millions of dollars to be able to look at our usage on our phones?," she said.
The woman, who supports water conservation, thinks the money would be better spent on the likes of small rain tanks for homes and businesses.
She said smart meters would allow the council to monitor in real time the use of water and impose $220 fines.
"But are they worth the multimillion-dollar outlay?," the resident said.
The council has indicated that the roll-out of the smart meters would be compulsory.
It is seeking a 50 per cent contribution from the state government to help either cover the $3.27 million cost of installing "clip-on devices to existing connections" or the $4.54 million cost of "full meter replacement".
The rest of the costs would be "absorbed" by the council.
"The technology will provide council with the opportunity, regardless of water restrictions, to provide end users with advice on their water usage, or in extreme cases where excessive water use is detected, make further inquiries," said council's chief executive officer Michael McMahon said.
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