Mooted water pipelines to "drought-proof" Wellington, Dubbo, Narromine, Warren, Nyngan and Cobar could be one step closer to becoming a reality after the NSW government announced $3 million would be spent exploring possibilities.
The investment promise came as part of an $87 million emergency funding package the government vowed would help country communities who were enduring worsening drought conditions.
Included in the package is $4 million for water storage remediation works in Nyngan, and $2 million for extra bore capacity and a pipeline in Bourke.
Other Central West communities will also benefit with Bathurst set to get $5 million to set-up a stormwater harvesting scheme and another $5 million to replace the Winburndale pipeline.
Orange will collect $2.5 million to build a pipeline from Spring Creek Dam and reduce losses caused by river transfers. A further $2.5 million will be spent duplicating the existing Orange stormwater harvesting project.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Water Minister Melinda Pavey announced the emergency funding measures in Dubbo on Monday.
Minister Pavey said another $15 million would be set aside to cart water into small country towns and $4.6 million would help fund household and water-saving programs for towns most at risk of running dry.
She said the government had also moved to speed up the process for the sinking of bores.
"Inevitably we will go through another dry period and all this infrastructure will service us to that future, but also ensure that our towns get the most out of every drop," Minister Pavey said.
The Deputy Premier said if more financial support was needed for drought-stricken communities he would have "no issue" with the government running budget deficits.
"We want to make sure regional and rural communities don't run out of water," Mr Barilaro said.