Armidale Regional Council will put the city on level 4 water restrictions and start fining offending users next week unless a great deal of rain falls between then and now.
Council general manager Susan Law said on 2016 figures, council looked to be using about 200 megalitres per year per property. It was about to hold discussions with Water NSW to find out what assistance was available.
"The usage since our water restrictions began has remained the same, although there has been a slight drop recently which is probably attributable as much to the cooler weather as anything else." she said.
"It's hard for people to understand I suspect, because people have not experienced this in their living memory. Getting the message through here is pretty important.
"We're done a letter drop and have, we've got water patrol people talking to residents when they see them using water outside of the restrictions. We're also contacting the major users of water and looking at what options they've got."
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall hoped the experience was being a bit of a wake-up call for people, and said we needed to be water wise all the time, even in places like Armidale and Guyra.
"I had a meeting on Monday with the Water Minister Melinda Pavey," he said.
"It was to get agreement from her to make emergency water payments available from the State Government to Armidale Regional Council, should they need it, to begin trucking water from Malphas Dam to the Guyra water storages.
"It's in council's hands when it wants to start doing that, and it is only a stop-gap measure.
"If we don't get any significant rains in the next few weeks, we don't want to be in the situation where Guyra simply runs out of water.
"If nothing changes council has told me the Guyra water supply will run dry by August.