Figures released by NSW Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald say that 27% of the state is now ‘drought declared’, down 38% compared to last month; 40% is ‘marginal’, down from 49% in September and 33% is labelled as ‘satisfactory’, up from 13% in September.

Chaffey dam, near Tamworth, is at nearly 70% capacity, while Keepit dam, located to the north west of Gunnedah on the Namoi river, is now 40% full.

Nine centimetres of rainfall between 1 and 13 November in Armidale, northern NSW, changed that area’s status from drought declared to marginal, and both the Tamworth and Moree areas are now classed as satisfactory instead of marginal.

However, Macdonald said that with overall dam capacity at only 55%, more water is still needed. He also pointed out that the data does not take into account recent flooding across the state’s central west.