For Joe Taranto water security is about applying the principle of waste not want not on a massive scale.
Mr Taranto, an independent recycled water consultant, has devised an ambitious $2 billion scheme to redirect 400 megalitres of treated effluent from Sydney's North Head sewage treatment plant to the Upper Hunter.
"It is inevitable that the driest inhabited continent on earth will have to start recycling more of its water," Mr Taranto, who has presented his idea to both the state and federal government's, said.
"At present Sydney discharges around 1000 megalitres of grey water into our ocean, while our inland rivers are dying."
Mr Taranto is critical of the current water planning strategies, such as the Lower Hunter Water Plan, because he says they do little to improve short-term water security.
"What they came up with was to defer any major spending until it is needed. That's not a good plan. It's like sitting in front of a heap of kindergarten kids and telling them this going to be your problem in 20 years," he said.
As part of Mr Taranto's scheme, water would travel from Sydney to Newcastle via a sub-sea pipeline utilising gravity-assisted technology - The Romans used the same principle to move water across mountains.
A two-metre diameter twin pipeline would enter the Hunter River at Ironbark Creek and then follow the powerline grid to Lake Liddell
About 300 megalitres of water a day would be supplied to the Liddell and Bayswater power stations and the mining industry. As a result no water would be drawn from the Hunter River.
The remaining 100 megalitres would be used for irrigation throughout the Hunter.
The plan also includes a proposed reservoir at Branxton to supplement Lower Hunter Water supplies.
Having met the needs of the Hunter, water from Glenbawn Dam could be transferred to Murrurundi and then, via a proposed 14 kilometre tunnel through the Liverpool Range, into the Naomi Basin.
Mr Taranto said the scheme would bring a range of other environmental and economic benefits. For example, the high density polyethylene pipe required for the project would be manufactured in Newcastle.
Lake Liddell has issues with bacteria and salinity and the mines are at times looking to discharge saline water into the Hunter River when there are high river flows," he said.
"The pipeline will flush this saline water from both by gravity straight into the ocean resulting in a healthier Hunter River."
Mr Taranto is calling for a feasibility study to be conducted of his plan.
- Water policy makers scramble to ensure the Hunter has a reliable and sustainable water supply
- Push to make Newcastle Racecourse a recycled water hub for the city
- Record amounts of Lower Hunter wastewater is being recycled
- Consumers prepared to pay more for water recycling and conservation projects
- Conservation initiatives have driven down domestic water usage over the past decade
- Water conservation initiatives introduced at the Callaghan campus are paying dividends
- Recycled water is keeping water bills low
- Orica cuts its potable water usage by 90 per cent in less than a decade
- Water regulation not keeping up the demands of industrial users
- The Lower Hunter is now viewed as a piece of an inter-connected water management puzzle
- Water Pressure: Government says 'no way' to revisiting Tillegra Dam