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.

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 a safe and reliable water supply to our community are outlined below.

Within NSW Government's Lower Hunter Water Security 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. Our permanent water conservation measures, called Smart Water Choices are now in place to help our community maintain great water saving behaviours.

Lower Hunter Drought Response Plan

Planning for drought and building resilience.
The Lower Hunter Drought Response Plan is intended to give guidance on how Hunter Water and NSW Government work together to manage drought in the Lower Hunter Region.

Smart Water Choices

These simple, everyday choices will help our community maintain the great water saving behaviours demonstrated during water restrictions. Smart Water Choices apply to everyone in the Lower Hunter.

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

Worker using a listening stick to monitor the pipe network for leaks

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.

Pipework in excavation

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.

Tomago sandbeds

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

Love Water

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.