Planning our water future

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We are planning now to ensure our region has a secure and adaptable water system, now and for future generations.

Where are we at?

Over the past three years, we have worked with our community and stakeholders to understand their values around water and their views on the different water supply and demand options we're considering as part of the review of the Lower Hunter Water Security Plan (LHWSP). Understanding community values and attitudes is fundamental to decision making for the LHWSP.

The first two phases of community engagement in 2018 – 2020 were aimed at understanding community values, attitudes to water restrictions, and preferences for supply and demand types. In general, the community has supported the view that all options are on the table and should be considered in the review.

We have also undertaken investigations to help us understand the environmental and social impacts, technical feasibility, and costs of the option types.

Based on community feedback and the outcomes of these investigations we have developed a number of preliminary ‘portfolios’ or groups of options to assess against future uncertainties. Learn more about the different options and outcomes of the investigations via the Document Library.

Project update March 2021 – community engagement outcomes

Recent engagement activities from November 2020 – February 2021 aimed to reach a diverse cross section of the community through a range of channels and forums. This work was led with an online community survey to obtain feedback on various aspects of the LHWSP review, including the preliminary portfolios.

Other activities were targeted at specific stakeholders such as schools, business associations / industry groups and developer representative bodies. A video was produced and distributed to schools encouraging participation and in-depth interviews and focus groups were conducted with local councils and the non-residential sectors.

Key results from the community survey include:

  • Strong community support for investments to supply enough water to meet minimum customer demands in a long and severe drought.
  • Relatively high level of community support for all preliminary portfolios (greater than 60% support). This is similar to previous results regarding option preferences; the community is quite open to us considering all options.
  • Strong support for investments that reduce our demand for drinking water (such as water conservation and more recycled water) before implementing supply side options (such as desalination and inter-regional transfers).
  • Broad support for additional investments to achieve environmental goals for biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reliability of water supply is highly valued by the community.

A summary of this engagement and the online survey report is available in the Document Library. Community feedback will be considered alongside other ongoing investigations, modelling and analysis.

The community will have the opportunity to provide further feedback on the draft LHWSP in the second half of 2021.

We are planning now to ensure our region has a secure and adaptable water system, now and for future generations.

Where are we at?

Over the past three years, we have worked with our community and stakeholders to understand their values around water and their views on the different water supply and demand options we're considering as part of the review of the Lower Hunter Water Security Plan (LHWSP). Understanding community values and attitudes is fundamental to decision making for the LHWSP.

The first two phases of community engagement in 2018 – 2020 were aimed at understanding community values, attitudes to water restrictions, and preferences for supply and demand types. In general, the community has supported the view that all options are on the table and should be considered in the review.

We have also undertaken investigations to help us understand the environmental and social impacts, technical feasibility, and costs of the option types.

Based on community feedback and the outcomes of these investigations we have developed a number of preliminary ‘portfolios’ or groups of options to assess against future uncertainties. Learn more about the different options and outcomes of the investigations via the Document Library.

Project update March 2021 – community engagement outcomes

Recent engagement activities from November 2020 – February 2021 aimed to reach a diverse cross section of the community through a range of channels and forums. This work was led with an online community survey to obtain feedback on various aspects of the LHWSP review, including the preliminary portfolios.

Other activities were targeted at specific stakeholders such as schools, business associations / industry groups and developer representative bodies. A video was produced and distributed to schools encouraging participation and in-depth interviews and focus groups were conducted with local councils and the non-residential sectors.

Key results from the community survey include:

  • Strong community support for investments to supply enough water to meet minimum customer demands in a long and severe drought.
  • Relatively high level of community support for all preliminary portfolios (greater than 60% support). This is similar to previous results regarding option preferences; the community is quite open to us considering all options.
  • Strong support for investments that reduce our demand for drinking water (such as water conservation and more recycled water) before implementing supply side options (such as desalination and inter-regional transfers).
  • Broad support for additional investments to achieve environmental goals for biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reliability of water supply is highly valued by the community.

A summary of this engagement and the online survey report is available in the Document Library. Community feedback will be considered alongside other ongoing investigations, modelling and analysis.

The community will have the opportunity to provide further feedback on the draft LHWSP in the second half of 2021.

Do you want to know more about our programs and how we want to secure water for the future in the Hunter? Ask us a question - we're here to help.

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    Has anybody looked into using the water pumped out of coal mines? An example is Centennnial Coal which treats thousands of litres (I don't have exact figures) of underground water each day to better than drinking quality and then pumps it straight into Lake Macquarie. Surely this water could be pumped into water storages instead? Here's another pie-in-the-sky suggestion for long term water for the Hunter valley: In addition to capturing water from mining, what if storm water was captured and then pumped from the coast into each water storage heading west until they were all full. At defined levels/times they could release water to keep natural water courses flushed as well. We've managed to reverse the flow of electricity back into the grid, why can't we do the same for water? Just something that has been rattling around in my head for a while...

    Hemidude asked over 2 years ago
    Hi Hemidude,
    Thanks a lot for your participation. These are very valid options worthy of consideration to secure the Lower Hunter’s water future, and will form part of a further conversation that we’ll have with our community in the new year. Stay tuned!