Glen Innes and Deepwater will hit level 4 water restrictions this Friday.
The Glen Innes Severn council announced the decision to escalate water restrictions in both towns in a press release issued this afternoon.
The larger town jumped the gun on their drought management plan in July in hopes of avoiding higher level restrictions. It was on level two for just one day before the decision.
Council staff put their hopes in a new water bore worth $250,000 to stave off the need to escalate restrictions, but its capacity didn't live up to hopes.
Director of Infrastructure Services Keith Appleby told last week's council meeting the bore was likely to pump water from this week but warned the town would likely be forced to level four water restrictions, without giving a date for when that might happen.
The decision to go to level 4 restrictions was not brought to the meeting.
Councils are required to develop and follow drought management plans by the state government which would see them through a 1000 year drought.
Deepwater, which had level three restrictions imposed at the start of October, will also go to level four.
Armidale and Tamworth are both on level 5 restrictions, with Guyra forced to truck water earlier this year. Tenterfield has recently struck water with its own bore, part of a plan to stave off 'day zero' - the day the town runs out of water completely.
The New England has had its second year with below-average rainfall, with the winter of 2019 the driest in decades.
Level four restrictions completely prohibit refilling swimming pools or washing outdoor surfaces, bans garden watering except with bore water and permits washing vehicles only with buckets or machine re-circulation, among other restrictions.