Drilling work has started in Broken Hill in far west New South Wales to find an emergency water supply for the drought-stricken town.
The iconic mining city is due to run out of good quality water by August 2015 due to the dwindling level of the Menindee Lakes.
The lakes have been steadily drying out because of the drought.
Darryn Clifton from the Broken Hill-Menindee Lakes We Want Action Group said mismanagement was also to blame.
“It’s only through over extraction of water upstream in the Barwon-Darling River system that we’re not getting the flows down,” he said.
The NSW Government has started drilling for groundwater to provide an emergency bore water supply for Broken Hill.
Water Minister Kevin Humphries said the current supply of surface water was not sustainable.