THE former Urana and Corowa mayors have clashed over the merits of two projects which were in the mix for Federation Council's $1 million drought support package.
Cr Fred Longmire, a former Corowa mayor and Balldale resident, said uncertainty existed on where the water would come from to fill the aquatic centre at Urana, but there was no confusion over the state of the water supply in his hometown.
"There might be only 120 people who live there, but we are talking about a water supply we charge in a rate notice that is not far off sea water," he said.
"People can't clean their teeth or have a shower because it is so bad.
"They have their own water tanks, but there has been no rain to fill them."
Water transfer arrangements to the aquatic centre have not been finalised.
"There is no point having a pipeline to move water if there is no water to put in it," Cr Longmire said.
Cr Pat Bourke, a former Urana mayor and resident of the town, said the Balldale situation should have been addressed in the last major drought, but the two projects were different.
"Urana Shire identified this project many years ago and started putting money aside to the point there is still a reserve fund," he said.
"We are talking about pumping raw water, we are not talking about potable water."
General manager Adrian Butler said approval and funding for the pipeline were crucial initial steps in the project.
"If you wanted every single thing lined up it probably wouldn't happen," he said.
"There is no legislative block to say this project has no legs at all."
Cr Bourke said the man-made lake needed 300 megalitres to go from empty to full.
"It is generally one year in 15 it dries up," he said.
"I would say year-by-year a top up would only be required and to do that will make an enormous difference."