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Water security plan unveiled for Lower Hunter

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Water security is at the heart of a new 40-year strategic water plan that will provide confidence for communities and businesses in the Lower Hunter.

The policy will ensure the region has a resilient, secure and sustainable water supply now and for future generations.

The NSW Government’s Lower Hunter Water Security Plan (LHWSP) includes ways to reduce the water residents use to effectively balance supply and demand in the region.

It also consists of a range of measures to ensure there is enough water to supply homes, businesses and industry in the region in the years ahead and during drought.

The LHWSP has been developed with significant engagement with the Hunter community and reflects community values and priorities while being both robust and adaptable in the long term, ensuring a resilient and sustainable water future for the area.

Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said the Lower Hunter community had been overwhelmingly supportive of the plan.

“Safe and secure water is important to regional communities,” he explained.

“This plan clearly lays out how the NSW Government will continue to support the Lower Hunter over the next 40 years.

“This strategy is a foundation for the region’s continued economic development, the largest in terms of economic output of any region in Australia.

“I thank the community for their broad and extensive engagement with the LHWSP over the past three-and-a-half years.

“The high level of support puts the region in a strong position to manage future challenges and overcome adversities such as drought.”

Hunter Water managing director Darren Cleary said all LHWSP actions attracted strong support from residents.

“We’ll also continue to explore the opportunity to access deep groundwater sources near Tomago and opportunities to reduce evaporation from our dams,” he stated.

“Analysis conducted while developing the plan confirms our region is more vulnerable to drought than previously thought.

“So, improving the resilience of the supply system is paramount.”

The LHWSP will deliver:

  • Increased investment in water conservation, efficiency and leakage reduction actions;
  • Construction of a permanent desalination plant at Belmont to supply up to 30 million litres of water per day;
  • Assessing the viability of a Hunter Water connection to the Glennies Creek Dam-Lostock Dam scheme in the Upper Hunter; and
  • Increased investment in new, highly-treated recycled water schemes to support community green spaces and local industry

To view the plan, visit www.hunterwater.com.au/waterfuture

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