The Lower Hunter community has been awarded high marks for its drought water savings in the Commonwealth Government's annual water utility report card, released last week.
The National Performance Report for 2019-20 confirms that Lower Hunter household water consumption fell by 11 per cent in real terms, to an average of 156 kilolitres per property across the year, equating to a total reduction of 4 billion litres or about 2,000 Olympic-size swimming pools. The Lower Hunter's reduction in usage was the largest decrease of any major Australian water utility.
Coming 12 months after the Hunter's water storages reached their lowest levels in more than 40 years, the result shows the Lower Hunter household water consumption is 11 per cent below the national average for major utilities of 176 kilolitres per property.
"The community responded to our call to Love Water, and reduced their usage by 11 per cent, at a time when usage would typically rise, especially due to dry conditions, and during a time that many began working from home," Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey, said.
Hunter Water Managing Director, Darren Cleary, said while the wet summer has replenished the region's water storages back to above 95 per cent, the community has kept saving water.
"So far in 2020-21, community water use in the Hunter continues to be about 10 per cent lower than we anticipated, demonstrating how our community has continued to Love Water," Mr Cleary said.