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Water restrictions will be introduced across the Lower Hunter next month for the first time in 25 years, in response to the worst drought on record for NSW.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey announced Level 1 water restrictions would begin on Monday 16 September.

“This drought is more severe than NSW has ever experienced. While autumn and winter are typically the highest rainfall seasons for the Lower Hunter, the rainfall has not eventuated, causing the region’s dams to fall to their lowest levels in more than two decades,” Mrs Pavey said.

“With no significant rainfall on the horizon, the introduction of Level 1 water restrictions forms an important part of Hunter Water’s drought response to help reduce demand on the water supply.

“The restrictions will focus on reducing outdoor water use, which accounts for about 20 per cent of the Lower Hunter’s total drinking water consumption.”

Hunter Water’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Graham Wood said Hunter Water was exploring all avenues for conserving water.

“Water is crucial to people in the Lower Hunter so we’ll be working together with all of our customers to save this precious resource, whilst ensuring the continuity of their lives and businesses,” Mr Wood said.

“This includes working with large businesses and commercial operators to prepare and implement Water Efficiency Management Plans to help identify opportunities for water savings.

“Hunter Water is also doing its bit to conserve water by reducing leakage across its 5,000 kilometre water network. While we’ve made considerable inroads over the past two years, we’re investing additional resources to respond to and repair leaks even quicker.

Level 1 water restrictions include:

  • Outdoor watering is permitted before 10am or after 4pm with a trigger nozzle hose
  • All hand held hoses must have a trigger nozzle
  • No hosing of hard surfaces such as concrete, paths and driveways
  • All vehicles should be washed with a bucket, trigger nozzle hose or pressure cleaner
  • No sprinklers are to be used.

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