Months of sun-soaked fun are just around the corner as the Lower Hunter races towards summer on the back of recent wet weather, high water storage levels and green parks and gardens.
Amid the wave of excitement, residents and businesses are working together to come up with simple ways to save water and ensure our region’s storages remain fuller for longer, now and for future generations.
Hunter Water Managing Director, Darren Cleary, says the drought showed how quickly our water supply can run low when it turns dry.
“On a hot summer’s day, we can lose as much in evaporation at the region’s dams as we use across the community,” he says.
“That is why it’s important to save for summer.
“We know we can do it: in 2019-20, Lower Hunter household water use fell by 11 per cent to an average of 156 thousand litres per property across the year.
“That equates to a total reduction of four billion litres, or about 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools – a big saving in what were prolonged hot, dry conditions when usage was expected to rise.”
How can we all save water this summer?
Whether you are going for a swim at the beach, watering your garden or washing your clothes, we can all make smart water choices to conserve our precious resource.
Mitch Revs, a well-known local artist and keen surfer, recently shared his water saving tips as part of the region’s Love Water Day and National Water Week celebrations.
“My partner Emily and I leave little jars and containers around the garden to collect rainwater for our indoor plants and I actually also use rainwater to rinse my wetsuits,” he says.
“Even though we’ve had a lot of much-needed rain this year, summer is just around the bend and now is the time to start thinking smart about how you are going to make a difference.”
Hunter Water network engineer, Molly Walker, has done just that, creating a water saving opportunity through her fashion choices.
“A ‘new’ 150-gram cotton t-shirt requires around 600 litres of water to manufacture,” she says.
“So, I love second-hand clothes shopping.
“My other tip is to only wash my clothes when I have a full load in the washing machine.”
What else can I do to help?
As a member of the community, Hunter Water supports local charities and not-for-profit organisations with their water saving initiatives through our Love Water grants program.
Don’t have a garden at your home? You could join a community group like the Eastlakes U3A, which installed a new rainwater tank and completed an overhaul of its garden beds using native soils, water-wise native plants and infrastructure to prevent soil loss and water runoff.
Another group, the Tilligerry Habitat Association, is run by volunteers who help manage and preserve the native flora and fauna in Tanilba Bay and surrounding areas. The not-for-profit organisation focuses on tourism, education, and environmental initiatives.
With summer fast approaching, it’s important we all work together to make a big difference when it comes to conserving our precious resource.