Wellington has never used a drop of its 350 megalitres (ML) of groundwater entitlement in the Upper Macquarie alluvial aquifer.
But that may change with the Impax Group drilling test bores for the next few weeks.
Dubbo Regional Council is using some of the $30 million it got from the state government to augment its water supplies to fund the work.
It will determine water availability, quality, depth, volume and flow.
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Wellington, reliant on water from the Macquarie River, urgently needs another source of potable water.
Current advice from WaterNSW is the river will cease to flow in May as Burrendong Dam empties.
The council's director infrastructure, Julian Geddes, says the council and the state government are putting "contingencies" in place such as new bores.
The drilling is currently taking place near the Wellington Water Filtration Plant.
"The closer council can source water to the plant the less infrastructure is required to pipe water, this means reducing the time and cost required to deliver this critical water project," Mr Geddes said.
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The council's water strategy coordinator, Chris Devitt, has identified challenges in sourcing groundwater at Wellington including its position at the "top end" of the aquifer where it is "not as deep".
"However, we still believe that given the volumes that Wellington would need of around 1000ML a year, we're reasonably confident that we should be able to still gain that type of yield out of the Upper Macquarie aquifer," he said.
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Mr Devitt said in the event of "good water" being found, the town's entitlement would need to be increased potentially through a "temporary trade of water in the catchment".