Exploration for groundwater at Wellington will continue after Dubbo Regional Council spent $70,000 on a failed first attempt to save the town during the worst drought in living memory.
Wellington is dependent on the Macquarie River for water with the possibility of Burrendong Dam running dry later this year prompting the search.
Dubbo Regional Council has spent $70,000 of $30 million provided by the state government to explore and drill test bores on the grounds of the town's water treatment facility.
But this week the council advised that the search had revealed "low yield" with "not enough volume to pump water out".
In November the council's water strategy coordinator Chris Devitt told of the challenges in sourcing groundwater at Wellington including its position at the "top end" of the Upper Macquarie alluvial aquifer where it was "not as deep".
From here, a contractor will be engaged for additional bore drilling in Montefiores, and that contractor is yet to be appointed.Dubbo Regional Council CEO Michael McMahon
"However, we still believe that given the volumes that Wellington would need of around 1000 megalitres (ML) a year, we're reasonably confident that we should be able to still gain that type of yield out of the Upper Macquarie aquifer," he said at the same time.
This week the council's chief executive officer (CEO) Michael McMahon confirmed the search would shift its focus to Montefiores.
He said the council had engaged Impax Group to carry out exploratory work for bore sites around Wellington and "once that exploratory work was completed, some test bores were drilled".
The exploration was carried out at three sites, all of them at the water treatment facility, the CEO said.
"From here, a contractor will be engaged for additional bore drilling in Montefiores, and that contractor is yet to be appointed," he said.
In a report to the council's September meeting, Mr McMahon said Wellington had an entitlement of 350 ML on a bore which was not operating at Montefiores.