10 August 2021

Water security for the Lower Hunter's prosperity now and in the future

The NSW Government and Hunter Water are inviting comment on the draft Lower Hunter Water Security Plan.

The draft plan is the culmination of more than three years of comprehensive investigations and assessment, underpinned by in-depth engagement with the community, to ensure the growing Lower Hunter region has the water security it needs for a prosperous future.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey, said the draft Lower Hunter Water Security Plan is a foundation for the economic development of Greater Newcastle and the Hunter while supporting the liveability of the community, setting out a pathway until 2060.

“Water is fundamental to the region’s growth, prosperity and quality of life. I’m proud of the comprehensive work involving a whole-of-government approach to ensure we have a sustainable and resilient water supply for the Lower Hunter, now and for future generations."
Melinda Pavey, Minister for Water, Property and Housing

“Hunter Water has developed a draft plan that will support the growth of the region and ensure it can respond to system shocks, including drought and a changing climate,” Mrs Pavey said.

Hunter Water Managing Director, Darren Cleary, said the recent drought has highlighted the vulnerability of the water supply system.

“The recent drought rewrote the rules for many communities around New South Wales. New insights gained during the drought have confirmed that our region is more vulnerable to drought than we previously thought.

“The Hunter’s storages can go from typical operating levels to critical in less than three years. If drought were to continue beyond this, our region could run out of water.

“Our community has told us they expect a reliable water supply that can withstand drought, reaffirming our view that it is unacceptable for a region the size of the Lower Hunter to face the risk of running out of water.”
Darren Cleary, Hunter Water Managing Director

“A key objective of our future planning is to make sure we can supply enough water to meet the demand from households, businesses and industrial customers, while underpinning regional prosperity and nurturing the unique Lower Hunter environment,” Mr Cleary said.

The draft Lower Hunter Water Security Plan is now on public exhibition for a six-week period, concluding on Sunday 19 September 2021.

Detailed information on the Hunter Water engagement website includes the draft plan, fact sheets about the different actions and other technical information.

A COVIDSafe public webinar will be held on Tuesday 24 August and registrations are now open. A recording of the webinar will be available via the Hunter Water engagement site for those unable to attend.

To request a printed copy, call 1300 657 657. To download the draft plan, view an explainer video and the supporting documents, as well as to make a submission or book in for the webinar, visit the community engagement webpage.