In the 1950s and 1960s, when farmer Rob Lee's father and uncle ran the family's vast sheep and cattle holding north of Orange, 26 small windmills were installed on the property.
"They weren't very deep and they'd pump water into a little ground tank alongside the windmill," Mr Lee said.
That water would be pumped to the dam, along with runoff from the paddocks during autumn and winter.
"The windmills are now all obsolete because a little windmill doesn't keep up with the evaporation rate off the dam," Mr Lee said.
"The livestock drink more water because it's hotter, and a dam is just an open puddle of water and it evaporates, so unless it's very deep and big and cold it doesn't last.
"It would last over summer until the next winter - it doesn't work anymore.
"We've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last five to six years equipping two very good bores with solar pumps and piping water to tanks and then to troughs in all our paddocks."
The Lee family has been farming land between Larras Lee and Cumnock - and keeping weather records - for about 190 years.
Mr Lee has been working the 1600-hectare property since the mid-1980s.
He has lived through severe and extended drought and flooding, but was worried by what he believed was an increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.
"To my mind there is a pattern developing," he said.
Climate-driven extreme weather disasters have cost NSW $9 billion in the last decade, according to a new report from the Climate Council.
The Hitting Home: The Compounding Costs of Climate Inaction report said extreme weather events that affected NSW in 2020 - bushfires, heatwaves, drought, storms, coastal erosion and flooding - will be exacerbated due to climate change.
"New South Wales has suffered great economic damage from climate-driven extreme weather disasters over the last decade, and on a per person basis [the rate] was around double Victoria, and quadruple Tasmania," said lead author and Climate Council spokesman, professor Will Steffen.
"And it is going to get worse."
Professor Steffen said that by 2038 "extreme weather events driven by climate change, as well as issues like sea level rise, could cost the Australian economy $100 billion every year".
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