Hunter Water Hunter Water

Drought response measures

While the safety of our drinking quality is our priority, ongoing supply of water is critical to the well being of our region.

Within NSW Government's Lower Hunter Water Plan, measures are in place to reduce the amount of water required to serve the Lower Hunter’s needs, make better use of existing storages, and provide extra supply as a contingency in extreme droughts. Some measures will apply all the time, to reduce demand or substitute supply, while others, including restrictions are activated as storage levels fall during droughts.

Water restrictions

We recognise that within our community water is an enabler of economic activity and growth as well as liveability. Many of the measures we use to ensure water supply are outlined below, and water restrictions will be top of mind for you while we are in Level 1 water restrictions.

Water restriction levels

Restrictions are introduced based on the percentage of overall water storage:

  • Level 1 – 60%
  • Level 2 – 50%
  • Level 3 – 40%

Did you know?

Our staff monitor storage levels and use other information, including complex computer models of the performance of our water supply system based on historical climatic patterns, to help make decisions on when restrictions are introduced. View our storage levels.

Our operational activities

Minimising water loss

We are actively reducing leakage and water loss from our own water network. With more leaks detected through increased survey activity and implementing smart technology systems, we have reduced leakage by 20% across our water network.

Regional water transfers

Our agreement with Central Coast Council facilitates the flow of water between the two regions based on relative storage levels. It has been designed to ensure our systems are optimised, increasing overall system resilience to benefit both communities over the longer term.


Operating Tomago Sandbeds

Learn how we operate Tomago Sandbeds to provide a safe and reliable back up water supply during times of drought is the Tomago Sandbeds

Community education and partnerships

Encouraging households to ‘love water’

Our ‘Love Water’ campaign is an educational campaign encouraging household water users to conserve water through simple every day changes they can make to their water use.

Working with other water utilities

Across the State, our other water utilities face similar conditions across their water supply networks, and our continuing professional relationships have enabled us to share resources and learnings to assist in drought response.

Drought response desalination

A key outcome of the 2014 LHWP is to plan for a desalination plant, to be built and operated only if storage levels reach critically low levels.