Frequently asked questions

A sunny day on the Paterson River at the Hunter River fork, NSW.

We have created some frequently asked questions about the draft Lower Hunter Water Security Plan.

How does the draft Plan relate to the NSW Water Strategy?

The draft Lower Hunter Water Security Plan is part of a suite of long-term strategies the NSW Government is developing to maintain the resilience of the state’s water resources over the coming decades. The NSW Water Strategy provides the ‘top down’, high level direction and objectives for the water sector, while the draft Lower Hunter Water Security Plan outlines a program of water supply and demand actions focused on water security for the Hunter Water area of operations.

How is this different from the Greater Hunter Regional Water Strategy?

A regional approach to water planning improves overall resilience for all regions. It allows us to take advantage of variable patterns in rainfall and climate and to better respond to water supply or water quality risks – with improved outcomes for all.

The Greater Hunter Regional Water Strategy is broad, outlining policy, planning and infrastructure options to improve water security across the Greater Hunter area. The strategy sets out recommendations to inform future conversations and decisions about the direction of water management in the Greater Hunter Region. The Lower Hunter Water Security Plan builds on this by focussing on the areas serviced by Hunter Water (a portion in the Greater Hunter Region). The draft plan also sets  detailed actions to manage supply and demand in the region, and to respond to drought.

How does the Lower Hunter Water Security Plan align with water planning work in the Central Coast and the Upper Hunter?

The draft Lower Hunter Water Security Plan has considered the important work of the Greater Hunter Regional Water Strategy and has built upon this to evaluate opportunities to link the Upper Hunter and the Lower Hunter water supply systems.

The NSW Government, Hunter Water and Central Coast Council have worked closely to analyse and model infrastructure and operational options that make best use of available water across the Hunter and the Central Coast, including the existing inter-regional transfer pipeline. Infrastructure proposed in both the draft Lower Hunter Water Security Plan and the draft Central Coast Water Security Plan has been considered with the best overall outcomes for the broader region in mind.

What is the role of Hunter Water and the department? 

Across NSW the government is undertaking long-term planning to secure water for our future in the face of a growing population, changing industry and community needs and a more variable and changing climate. In the Lower Hunter, Hunter Water and the department are working together on the Lower Hunter Water Security Plan, with Hunter Water leading technical investigations and analysis and community engagement while the department ensures alignment of the plan with other regional plans and coordinates whole-of-government involvement in the planning process.