As fishers and boaters set up on the banks of Brogo Dam for this weekend's Bass Bash, the water level is hard to ignore.
Brogo Dam is sitting at 38.2 per cent and falling, when only months ago it was at capacity.
The dam supplies town drinking water to the Bermagui and Cobargo areas, as well as irrigation water to farms downstream towards Bega.
It's owned and operated by WaterNSW, with the state agency responsible for releasing water downstream of Brogo Dam.
Bega Valley Shire Council said the rapidly falling level of Brogo Dam is due to large volumes of water being released by WaterNSW due to the drought to meet irrigation demand downstream.
The town water for Quaama, Cobargo, Bermagui and Wallaga Lake areas (approximately 3000 people - 5000 at peak times) is also drawn from the Brogo River, about 4km downstream of the dam.
- Take a look at the Brogo Dam today as compared to February (it may take a few seconds to load)
"WaterNSW is required to maintain a storage reserve in Brogo Dam to ensure the long-term security and reliability of town water for the Brogo-Bermagui water supply system," council said.
"This storage reserve calculation is based on our annual high security entitlement and other factors. We are working with WaterNSW to determine what volume the reserve will be and when it is likely to be reached, assuming no inflows.
"At the point of reaching the reserve volume, water released for irrigation will be suspended and a lesser volume released downstream, slowing the decline in the water level in the dam."
A WaterNSW spokesman said Brogo Dam has a catchment area of around 4000sqkm so "is very reactive" to rainfall inflows.
They said as a rule Brogo is usually full and spilling, and its current storage level reflects the unusually dry conditions being experienced in the South Coast and across most of NSW.
More information on the Bega Valley Shire's dam levels is available here.