11 June 2021

Joining forces to future-proof region’s water supply

Hunter Water and Lower Hunter councils are working together in a bid to future-proof our region’s water supply.

During the most recent drought, our joint efforts generated significant water savings to the community, with the councils reducing usage by a combined 15 per cent across sporting fields, parks, pools, and office premises.

Given the success of our drought response plans, we showed a commitment to maintain water efficiency measures and identify alternative supply options, including recycled irrigation.

We have been regularly meeting with Lower Hunter council representatives to discuss strategic initiatives for water conservation.

Hunter Water Manager Sustainable Growth Water Resilience, Tony McClymont, said it took a united approach to prepare for times of constrained water resources.

“We know that Hunter Water cannot do it on our own and we need to engage with partners like councils.

“We have had a really good turnout [at the meetings] from all of the councils – they are all enthusiastic about getting involved and collaborating on integrated water management,” said Mr McClymont.

Apart from the drought response plans and irrigation best practice, we have offered support to Lower Hunter councils through early leak detection, education on smart water choices, and detailed water audits and benchmarking.

Hunter Water is also working to provide water usage statistics via metering and data loggers at key council sites.

Maitland City Council Group Manager Culture, Community and Recreation, Judy Jaeger, said the partnership had a strong community focus.

“I think the most refreshing thing is we are actually not working as single agencies, we are talking to one another to look at what is the best outcome for our communities.”
Judy Jaeger, Maitland City Council Group Manager Culture, Community and Recreation

“For me, that is what it is all about,” said Ms Jaeger.

Hunter Water Group Manager Revenue Water Conservation, Ardie Morris, said we showed leadership by forming the working group.

“We want this to be a regular thing, we want the councils to come together, and the unanimous response from the councils is they want that as well.

“We are all in it together. I think Hunter Water is quite unique in that we can bring all of these councils together to look at how we can improve the liveability of our region,” said Mr Morris.