Level 4 severe water restrictions will remain in place until pumping into storage dams can resume.
And that could be "a few weeks" away, according to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
While the local government area has experienced some great rainfall figures - over 260mm already in February this year - that rainfall has also brought a cessation to pumping from the Hastings River into the storage dams.
The total combined storage level for the Port Macquarie and Cowarra dams currently sits at 42.5 per cent. By comparison, in February 2019 the combined level was sitting at just a shade under 76 per cent storage.
Council says the rainfall has meant that farmers are rejoicing over full dams and rainwater tanks but there is still some way to go before water restrictions can be relaxed.
"We were pumping water from the Hastings River to fill our stage dams until last Friday (February 7)," council said.
"But we still have a way to go before we can relax water restrictions.
"We would need several months of above-average rainfall, and be able to continually pump from the river, before we could see us reach those combined storage levels again.
"Often, after flooding and rainfall events, nutrient levels and turbidity of the water are high due to runoff, so pumping ceases until the nutrient levels settle.
"This could take up to a few weeks."
Council says it is constantly monitoring the Hastings River for water quality.
"As soon as we are able to, we will take the opportunity to pump again and increase those dam levels, while we continue to meet daily water demand," council said.
Level 4 water restrictions for residents were introduced on Tuesday January 28. Business and commercial water users will face the tougher water sanctions from Tuesday February 25, 2020.
The trigger for level 4 severe water restrictions is 35 per cent.
The tougher water restrictions were implemented following an intense drought period of 12 months where minimal to no rainfall was recorded across the water catchment area.
"We need to reduce our demand to extend the life of our current water storage levels," council says.
"Whether you are a resident, business or commercial user, you will be restricted on how you use water around your home, in public or at work.
"In short, there is a total ban on all outdoor water use, and commercial operators are limited to critical use only."
Also making news:
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.