The River Lett runs through Hartley Vale, providing a life-giving resource to wildlife in the area.
But it is not running at the moment.
The usually reliable water source has almost completely dried up in recent weeks, forcing native wildlife to seek alternate water sources in neighbouring paddocks.
Pam Day, whose property borders the river, has seen the river dry up before. In the past, environmental flows have been released from the railway dams at Dargan to help revitalise the area, and residents along the river would love to see it occur again.
"The wildlife are now coming into our paddocks," Pam said.
"The last thing we need is pigs coming in and ripping everything up. It's a biosecurity hazard as well."
Feral pigs can spread diseases, including swine brucellosis.
Foxes are always a problem, while kangaroos compete with stock for shrinking supplies of grazing areas.
Fellow River Lett neighbour Lyn Micklesson said she has seen the impact the lack of flow has had on native wildlife.
"There have always been a number of platypus [near my home] all my life, but they've gone. The flora as well, the beautiful ferns that usually thrive there, they're gone," she said.
"There's no water for fighting fires, should one happen, no water for anything."
She has begun to lobby State Government authorities, including Bathurst MP Paul Toole, for an environmental release to occur.
The railway dams, which are fed through the local swamps, were used to release water once gathered to help supply steam trains in their heyday.
"The dams are full, but there's a shortage of steam trains these days," Pam said.
"We just want a little bit of flow to keep everything healthy."
Bathurst MP Paul Toole said he had followed up the issue with Crown Lands and WaterNSW.
"It has to be about striking the right balance between the environment, with flows into the river, and ensuring there is an adequate water supply for firies in that area [Dargan]," he said.
Lyn began lobbying in October, but said it had turned into a bureaucratic tangle trying to find the right person to speak to.
The Lithgow Mercury has encountered the same problem. We were bounced from department to department seeking clarity on who controlled the dams and who one would ask about the possibility of having an environmental flow released.
We approached WaterNSW, Transport for NSW, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), Sydney Trains, the Office of Environment, Energy and Science, Dargan Creek Reserve Trust, Lithgow City Council, Crown Lands, Sydney Water and the office of Paul Toole MP.
Sydney Trains stated it is continuing to look into the issue.
"There is no need for all that water to be stored up there, when it is needed in the river," Pam said.
She said the release would not have to be large in scale, just enough to provide for the flora and fauna, which were struggling in the now stagnant pools that remained.
"Where I live, if there was a bushfire, I'd be trapped. I'd like to be able to get into the river to shelter from a fire," Lyn said.
The river, when running, also provided a natural fire barrier.