A community group which has threatened to use legal action to challenge state government plans to lock in water sharing rules without taking into account drought, has urged Tamworth Regional Council to join their campaign.
The Inland Rivers Network on Friday condemned state government efforts to set new plans without taking into account the latest drought, or climate change, as illegal.
Tamworth's Peel Valley water sharing plan is due to be signed off at the end of the month.
Inland Rivers Network President Beverley Smiles said if that happens water users like the Tamworth Regional Council should consider litigation.
"I think it's really import for local government to look at their water security into the future in regard to how their water is shared," she said.
"We would think it's good if local government got involved in a legal case if it was necessary."
The Water Act requires government to make water plans that put the environment and household use before irrigation, she said.
If the new Peel Valley plan doesn't do that, "we believe we have a strong case to take to the Land and Environment court," she said.
Tamworth Regional Councillor Mark Rodda agreed that it's time for the city to get tough with state government, including threatening litigation.
"If that ultimately delivers us a better result for our residents and in fact for other NSW residents in general, I think we need to do what we can to be part of it," he said.
Tamworth Regional Council recently launched a social media campaign lobbying for greater water security and reliability for the region.
"Council has been encouraged by the way this campaign has been received by the community and the support that they have shown," a spokesperson said.
"Council also now feels that it is being heard by the NSW Government and is hopeful for a favourable response. "
Tamworth Regional Council last year asked Water Minister Melinda Pavey to hold off on signing off the new plans until the end of the current drought, to allow it to be considered.
Releases can continue to happen even while residents are forced onto strict Level 5 water restrictions.
If the water sharing plan is approved this month it could be another decade until it is looked at again.