Despite the efforts of many people, the worrying prospect of continued falling levels in the Lower Hunter's dams is a reminder for us to continue to try to conserve water across the region.
As the Newcastle Herald reports today, the total amount of water in the Lower Hunter's four major storage facilities - Chichester, Grahamstown, Tomago and Anna Bay - is tipped to drop below 60 per cent capacity for the first time since 1994.
According to Hunter Water data, the four dams were at a combined level of 60.4 per cent capacity when last measured on Friday, having dropped by 1.2 per cent in a week.
Tomago was at 65.8 per cent, Grahamstown was recorded as 60.2 per cent, Anna Bay's level was 54.8 per cent and Chichester was only 52.2 per cent full.
The utility's executive responsible for drought response, Darren Cleary, said if conditions did not improve, level two water restrictions could be introduced in the new year - or earlier if Hunter Water's experts deemed it necessary.
Mr Cleary - pictured above with Hunter Water's acting CEO Graham Wood at Grahamstown dam when level one water restrictions were introduced in September - said the total dam levels had been dropping by an average of about 1 per cent a week in recent times.
Under that trajectory, the Lower Hunter's total dam level will fall below 60 per cent for the first time in 25 years in the coming week.
Hunter Water introduced level one water restrictions in September, taking the measure early before the benchmark of 60 per cent was reached.
It is conceivable that the utility could ramp up restrictions before the region arrives at the benchmark of 50 per cent.
The Bureau of Meteorology's long-range forecast predicts a drier than average period for eastern NSW, including the Hunter, from December to February.
Mr Cleary said there had been "fairly significant reductions in water use from the entire community" since restrictions were introduced.
But it is concerning that dam levels in the Lower Hunter are continuing to drop, despite the efforts of many in the community.
It is an important reminder that people across the region should continue to make the effort to be water-wise, particularly as we head into the summer months.