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Hunter Water celebrates 130 years of service

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NSW Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson and Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin have led the plaudits for Hunter Water on its major milestone.

The organisation is set to celebrate 130 years of serving the Lower Hunter community, helping it to grow into the thriving and prosperous region it is today.

July marks the anniversary of the formation of the Hunter District Water Supply and Sewerage Board in 1892.

Since then, Hunter Water has played a vital role in the region’s growth, liveability and environmental sustainability by providing reliable access to safe, clean drinking water and sewerage services.

“Congratulations on this amazing achievement,” Mr Anderson said.

“It’s wonderful to recognise and celebrate how far Hunter Water has come in serving the region and its community over the past 130 years.

“The Hunter is Australia’s largest regional economy, valued at more than $40b annually.

“And, water’s the precious resource that enables this flourishing economy, supports a growing population and sustains a healthy natural environment.”

Mr Martin said the company had worked consistently in recent years to put its customers at the centre of its decision-making.

“As custodians of the region’s water supply, Hunter Water is deeply committed to ensuring a secure water supply for the Lower Hunter,” he stated.

“It’s even more important now with the challenges of a growing population, an expanding economy and a variable climate.

“All who work at Hunter Water should be justifiably proud of being such a valued partner in helping to deliver the aspirations of the region.”

Chichester Dam.

One man who’s extremely delighted by Hunter Water’s 130-year history is managing director Darren Cleary.

“Reliable access to safe drinking water is something we all take for granted,” he said.

“But, without it, the Hunter would not have been able to grow into the thriving region it is.

“There have been several key moments in our storied history, including the construction of the Walka Water Works and the Newcastle No 1 Reservoir in the late 1880s, the Chichester Dam and Trunk Main connecting Dungog to Newcastle and Maitland in the 1920s, and the construction of Grahamstown Dam in the 1960s and its later expansion in the early 2000s.

“As well, wastewater infrastructure investment has been critical for the health of our region, allowing local tourism to flourish and our beaches being consistently rated among the cleanest in the state.”

In more recent times, Hunter Water has empowered the Lower Hunter community through its innovative Love Water campaign and worked together to reduce water usage by encouraging households and businesses to make smart water choices.

These initiatives saw the region’s household water consumption fall by 17% over the past four years, showing that residents continue to embrace Love Water.

Mr Cleary said the release of the Lower Hunter Water Security Plan represented a new chapter to ensure the area had a resilient, secure and sustainable water supply, now and for future generations.

“Our community’s needs are at the heart of our decision-making and public feedback was crucial in developing the plan,” he explained.

“While our history is worth celebrating, we’re now turning the page to focus on new, highly-treated recycled water schemes, a permanent desalination plant at Belmont, stormwater amenities, and increased investment in water conservation and leakage reduction.”

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