A "friendly reminder" in a mailbox has been proposed as an alternative to dobbing in a neighbour for breaching level four water restrictions.
Dubbo Regional Council has been asking residents to document and photograph their observations and suspicions but this week its chief executive officer (CEO) Michael McMahon made a concession.
"There are free water-saving pamphlets at the council administration buildings that residents can perhaps pop in their neighbour's mailbox as a friendly reminder if they would rather not approach them or report them to council," he said.
"This could be a way for residents to keep the community spirit and maintain harmony in their neighbourhood, but still spread the message to be wise with our water."
Dobbing in a neighbour requires the gathering of evidence and some patience.
The six rangers employed by council to cover Dubbo and Wellington have multiple duties besides catching people flouting water restrictions.
Their other responsibilities include responding to animal, pollution and noise complaints, stock on roads, and stolen and dumped vehicles.
The number of rangers on duty at any one time varies but "there is always a ranger on call for emergencies".
"As a result of their busy schedule, often rangers won't be able to respond to a complaint from residents about water misuse straightaway," the CEO said.
"If residents wish to report a water restriction breach, as a practical measure they are encouraged to take photos identifying the activity and the property and submit it to council with a supporting statement, so rangers can follow it up.
"Unless rangers have sufficiently clear evidence, or see the water breach themselves, fines will not be issued to residents.
"Warnings may be used in some of these circumstances to ensure the opportunity to educate the public is taken advantage of."
Mr McMahon said where clear evidence of a breach existed, $220 on-the-spot fines would be issued.
"In this respect only a handful of fines are in the process of being issued as the vast majority of residents and businesses work with council to restrict their water usage," he said.