DE-silting Spring Creek Dam to gain water storage remains shaky unless a business can take 150,000 cubic metres of silt.
Orange City Council considered a report on the matter, which said de-silting was generally considered unfeasible for water security.
A 2007 report concluded de-silting the dam would add 148 megalitres of capacity, representing 3 per cent of Spring Creek's capacity, or 0.7 per cent of Orange's total water supply at the time.
The storage would provide a week's worth of water during summer and was estimated to cost up to $5.3 million, or $35 a kilolitre.
By comparison, raising the Suma Park Dam wall in 2016 cost $10 a kilolitre.
Adding to the challenge, there would be enough silt to cover 14 football fields to a depth of two metres, requiring 12,000 truck movements during 75 days.
Last week's report to councillors said many of the points raised in the 2007 report were still applicable today, but if the dam was empty, there was a commercial use for the silt and there were not too many approval conditions placed on the project, it could be considered.
"Council could stockpile within the dam footprint with a combination of dozer and scraper and load out directly onto a commercial carrier with no double handling for approximately the same cost of $10 a kilolitre," the report said.
Inquiries have been made with Australian Native Landscapes and Cadia Valley Operations.
"Neither of them utilise silt in their current processes but are considering it," the report said.
Councillor Glenn Taylor asked for the report and said he thought the council should pursue it.
"It's common sense, we know farmers, when their dams are dry, do this," he said.
He suggested pursuing state and federal funding to cover freight costs.
Technical services director Ian Greenham said the council did not have use for 150,000 cubic metres of silt, but there was a way the silt could be made into topsoil.
"We do have two large commercial users that are in that business - if there's a commercial use for it and they're willing to pay for the haulage trucks, then you don't have to have a drying bed, the drying bed can be the bed of the dam," he said.
The dam could be empty within six the 12 months if the drought persists.
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