A temporary water restriction has been put in place for the Upper Namoi to secure water supplies until conditions improve.
The state government put the restriction in place to "conserve water remaining in Split Rock Dam for essential town supply and critical needs".
It prohibits access to "the extraction of all carryover water in accounts of general security access licences from the Upper Namoi Regulated River Water Source, and to the extraction of any of that restricted general security water by a licence holder who has purchased the water".
It doesn't apply to "the take of water for testing metering equipment of up to a total of 1 megalitre (ML) for pumps larger than 500mm and 0.5 ML for all other works".
Trade restrictions do not apply to allow users to trade water and generate some monetary relief during the severe drought conditions.
However, any restricted water that is traded cannot be accessed until the temporary water restriction is lifted.
NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment wrote in its allocation update that the restriction was put in place under section 324(1) of the Water Management Act 2000.
"The Namoi Valley has received the lowest rainfall on record so far this water year. Namoi storage inflows have been well below minimum," the update said.
"Moreover, this continued dry weather has caused upper Namoi transmission losses to exceed 200 per cent, meaning that it takes on average 3 megalitres of water released from storage to meet each megalitre of water ordered.
"The extreme inflow and loss conditions have made it necessary to restrict access to remaining general security account water to make savings for high priority commitments, particularly water supply security for Barraba and Manilla, until conditions improve."
The restriction will be in place from December 6 to June 30, 2020, but the restriction may be amended or repealed prior to this date should conditions change.
For more details on the restriction visit https://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water/allocations-availability/temporary-water-restrictions