WORK on the first stage of Orange City Council's $47 million pipeline will start in November, with the council awarding $26.5 million worth of contracts for the construction of the pipeline.
Orange mayor John Davis said the contracts were another critical milestone in delivering water security for the city across the next half century.
"It has been a long haul and now that work is starting those hard yards are being repaid," he said.
"Orange residents have been waiting a long time for water security and it is now within reach."
Cr Davis said three years ago the city's reservoirs were dropping below 30 per cent and fast heading to record lows, but if the pipeline had been operational from 1999 to 2010, the city's dams would have been at 63 per cent in May 2010.
"What we learnt from that experience is that the time would come when we could not conserve our way out of a drought," he said.
"Waiting for rain is not a solution.
"We needed alternative sources."
Leed Engineering, which has extensive experience in this type of work, has been engaged to construct the pipeline and has started purchasing the material for the work including pumps and pipe.
Poles and Underground Pty Ltd and Essential Energy have been contracted to undertake electrical work connected to the project anticipated for late November.
Other project costs will include construction design costs, land acquisition, bio-banking and contingencies.