The state parliament has requested the government hand over documents relating to planning for a possible new dam in the Lower Hunter.
The Legislative Council this week supported a motion by independent Justin Field who called for documents relating to the project and other aspects of the Lower Hunter Water Plan review to be tabled.
The government has 28 days to respond to the call for papers.
Hunter Water is currently investigating sites near Grahamstown and Chichester dams as potential sites for a new satellite dam. It has repeatedly said it has not committed to the project.
The first potential dam site would allow a 230 gigalitre on-river storage to be built upstream of Chichester Dam. The dam would be filled with flows from Chichester River and serve as a storage expansion of the existing dam.
The other potential site at Limeburners Creek is about 10 kilometres north of Grahamstown Dam. The site, which could hold 160 gigalitres, is being assessed as a potential off-river storage.
Mr Field said greater transparency was required for the project.
"We have seen one in a hundred year droughts in the past two decades," he said.
"Now is the time to be talking about water security in the Lower Hunter but it should be done in an open and transparent way before big and expensive decisions are made.
"I am hoping the government will respect the will of the parliament and provide the documents that have been asked for."
A potential new dam is part of a range of options, including a Newcastle desalination plant, expanding the proposed Belmont desalination plant and the increased water recycling that are currently being canvased as part the Lower Hunter Water Plan review.
Consultation will continue throughout this year before a recommendation about the preferred portfolio of options is made to the government next year.
While you're with us, did you know the Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here
IN THE NEWS:
- Hunter prison employee charged over alleged relationship with inmate
- NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean issues Truegain site owner Robert Pullinger with a prohibition notice to clean-up toxic Rutherford site
- Man who assaulted and robbed five people in 90 minutes jailed
- Schoolies off: Another blow for HSC students as Queensland bans end-of-year trips