Hunter Water has made no secret of the need to secure the region’s future supply, but its latest proposal – to potentially build a dam near Dungog – has angered residents.
The Save Chichester Valley Group wants ratepayers’ money directed into investigating other options.
Hunter Water’s full response:
Hunter Water is actively investigating all options as part of a comprehensive review of the Lower Hunter Water Security Plan. We have been working with our community through an extensive engagement process since 2018 to ensure the revised plan reflects their values and attitudes. This is an ongoing process and we will continue to inform and engage with them, before any decisions are made.
The approach Hunter Water has taken is open, transparent and collaborative to take on board feedback about all of the options we are considering. We want to work with the community about the best outcomes for the long term water security of our entire region. We are involving them in the process rather than surprising them with a decision.
No decision has been made about the preferred option for ensuring our water supply is sustainable and resilient, aside from continuing to invest in water conservation and leakage reduction. In order to robustly consider all of the options available, a range of shortlisted options have been identified, including two dam investigation areas, so that we can assess the benefits, potential impacts, and costs of each of the options.
The options that are being explored to supplement our existing water supplies include recycling, stormwater harvesting, desalination, groundwater and water sharing as well as dams. We are currently developing portfolios of options and will be seeking the community’s input before the end of the year.