Riverbank repairs and revegetation and livestock fencing are among the measures that will be introduced to protect one of the region’s main drinking water supplies.
From next week, Hunter Water can begin fixing erosion issues and improving the water quality of a section of the Williams river that supplies to both Newcastle and Lower Hunter homes.
The actions are in response to the signing of the Seaham Weir Pool Erosion Management Plan on Tuesday.
Seaham Weir Pool is a 20-km stretch of river that sits between Seaham Weir and Clarence Town.
It is an important freshwater source that feeds into Grahamstown Dam.
To implement the Plan, Hunter Water will lead the project including repairs to riverbank erosion through stabilisation measures, alongside riverbank revegetation and livestock fencing.
Detailed site planning with individual property owners has already begun.
Consistent with community views and expert advice, the delivery of erosion repairs and protection will enable recreational boating activity to continue within the existing designated zones on the weir pool.
Hunter Water managing director Darren Cleary said the plan provided a solution to ongoing water quality concerns in the weir pool.
“The gradual, long-term decline in water quality in this section of the Williams River continues to be a concern to us,” he explained.
“The Williams is a critical part of our region’s drinking water supply, being the primary water source for Grahamstown Dam.
“This plan improves water quality and delivers positive environmental outcomes, while also supporting social and economic benefits of the Williams River, such as boating activities, that the community values.
“The final Erosion Management Plan is a result of expert studies, government agency expertise, and feedback from the local community, landholders, boaters and other waterway users.”
The scheme is jointly-funded by Hunter Water and the NSW Government.
“We are grateful to the community for providing feedback at two drop-in information sessions in November 2022 and through the online survey on our website. The strong community support for action to prevent erosion and improve water quality has been incorporated into the final Plan,” Mr Cleary added.
“We also acknowledge the planning and leadership of the Seaham Weir Pool Interagency Working Group, which includes representatives from Dungog Shire and Port Stephens Councils, Transport for NSW, and Hunter Local Land Services.”
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