Level one water restrictions are now underway, and Gunnedah Shire Council has congratulated residents on their adherence.
Councillors voted to step up water conservation amid the prolonged drought by proactively introducing enforceable water restrictions while the town's water supply was still able to meet demand.
"It's early days yet, but it appears people are aware of the importance of conserving water during this dry time, and are implementing level one water restrictions," council' manager water services Kevin Sheridan said.
"People are actively seeking information if they need it so they can be proactive in conserving water."
Mr Sheridan said while the shire was fortunate to have a good supply of bore water, everyone needed to conserve water wherever possible.
"The restrictions apply to Gunnedah, Curlewis, Mullaley and Tambar Springs properties connected to the town water supplies. The restrictions implemented from January 1 are mild in comparison to many other towns, some which have no outdoor use at all," he said.
"While fixed hoses and sprinklers are banned except for two hours per day between 6am-7am and 6pm-7pm, there is no restriction on the use of hand-held hoses."
The water manager said the council had received feedback about these times, and that they were selected during the preparation of the Drought Management Plan.
"[This] was prepared and placed on public exhibition before being adopted in 2017 and took into consideration all members of the community. The elderly were at the forefront of concerns, including the need to have a consistent time for watering all year round," Mr Sheridan said.
"Council is proposing to undertake a review of the plan in the future, and the selection of times will again be considered, including a look at the difference in weather conditions between daylight saving periods and eastern standard times."
A report to the council meeting late last year stated the drought being experienced throughout Northern NSW was having a profound effect on water supplies statewide.
While Gunnedah shire's water usage charges are among the lowest for shires with between 4000 and 10,000 properties in the state, residents are among the highest water users.
In the 2017-18 year, 418.7kL of residential water was supplied in Gunnedah shire, more than twice the figure in Inverell (203.77kL) and significantly more than Muswellbrook (306.48kL) and the Upper Hunter (333kL).