13 November 2020

All water supply and demand options for community consideration in Lower Hunter Water Security Plan review

Hunter Water is progressing towards seeking further input from our community on all water supply and demand options under the review of the Lower Hunter Water Security Plan (LHWSP).

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Catherine Cusack MLC, says the LHWSP is a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach to ensure we have a sustainable and resilient water supply for the region, now and for future generations.

“Hunter Water is working across Government, with key stakeholders and the community to review the LHWSP, to ensure the Lower Hunter has a secure and adaptable water system that can respond to population growth, as well as future uncertainties such as climate variability,” said Ms Cusack.

“We need to find new ways to reduce the water we all use and consider new sources of water now, so we are ready should we need them in the future.

"We are working to effectively balance the water supply and demand in the region to ensure we have water security for a future with a growing population."
Catherine Cusack MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter

Hunter Water Acting Chief Investment Officer, Emma Berry, said all options are on the table and no decisions have yet been made about which options will be included in the revised Plan.

“Through the major review of the LHWSP, we have considered a long list of options to reduce the amount of water we use, supplement our existing water sources and respond to drought. We then shortlisted to narrow down the best option types for our region,” said Ms Berry.

“We have been actively exploring these options to ensure we understand the environmental and social aspects, technical feasibility, reliability and costs of each.

"Understanding our community’s values and preferences for different options is central to this work. This information has guided us in the development of ‘option portfolios’ to assess against a range of criteria as well as future uncertainties."
Emma Berry, Acting Chief Investment Officer

“We’re looking at ways to reduce the region’s demand for drinking water through increasing investment in recycled water and stormwater harvesting schemes to irrigate public spaces and provide water to industry, as well as continuing our focus on water conservation behaviours and reducing system leakage.

“We are also investigating ways to supplement our existing water supplies. These include water sharing with other regions, groundwater, recycled water, dams and desalination.

“Information on all options being considered is available on Hunter Water’s website. Later this month comprehensive community engagement activities will continue providing more opportunity for the community to provide their views on the development of the LHWSP. We will continue to engage next year before the Plan is finalised,” said Ms Berry.

The Lower Hunter Water Security Plan is scheduled to be released in 2021.

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