THERE is a renewed sense of optimism in Murrurundi after water flowed down the bone-dry riverbed of the Pages River for the first time in almost four years.
A welcome downpour of 43mm saw the liquid gold make its way through town on Saturday, much to the delight of locals.
They say it's the first time the river has run since October 2016.
The Arnold-Cross family own and operate Murrurundi's White Hart Hotel which backs onto the river.
Publican Jules said when word got around that the Pages was flowing there was a buzz around town.
"After we had the massive storm I went and got the newspaper from Dooley's and the local electrician said 'apparently the water has just started to run under the bridge'," he said.
"I was expecting to see a 1 foot trickle, but it was raging. If you were a white water rafter you'd be in there.
"My daughter had never seen water in that river, she was confused as to why it was brown.
"But then yesterday it was absolutely crystal clear and a picture of beauty and it's the same today.
"If it was a 30 degree day you'd sit in it and have a glass of champagne!"
Murrurundi has been on the highest level of water restrictions, Level 6, since July 2018, with daily water carting since January 2019.
While the deluge won't make an immediate difference to the town's water supply, it's a welcome morale boost for locals.
"Level 6 restrictions will stay at this stage, we would have to get back to normal flows in the Pages River for it to make a difference," Council's Director Infrastructure Services Nick Havyatt said.
"At the moment we can't use the first flush because the turbidity levels are too high in the water.
"If it got back to a more normal flow with cleaner water then we would be able to take more advantage of that."
Mr Havyatt said water carting was still taking place and Murrurundi residents were doing a good job decreasing their water consumption.
The Scone to Murrurundi pipeline is still well on track for completion in mid 2020.