In this year of extraordinary challenge resilience has become a much discussed concept.
Our ability to adapt and respond to change has been tested through drought, bushfires and a global pandemic.
Our resilience as a community and a region has been underpinned by our ability to collaborate and work together.
At Hunter Water, we think about our role in the resilience of the region every day.
As custodians of our water supply one of our roles is forecasting how our region will thrive in the future by ensuring a long-term, adaptable and resilient water supply.
We know the region will need to respond to increases in population, technological changes and climate change which brings with it one of the biggest challenges, drought.
We're doing the detailed, complex planning work now so we can respond to whatever the future holds.
What's required is a continued secure and safe water supply system.
What's required is resilience in the face of an uncertain future.
What's required is all of us caring for our most precious resource, conserving that resource to reduce demand and contributing to the plan to secure our water supply for the future.
Under the review of the Lower Hunter Water Security Plan (LHWSP), all water supply and demand options are on the table and we've been actively investigating each one.
A smart planning process assesses all options and our community has told us they want to see how they stack up and to understand the various constraints and limitations as well as the opportunities of each.
No decision on the preferred option has been made.
The approach we've taken is open, transparent and collaborative to take on board feedback from the extensive community engagement process we are undertaking.
We are working with the community about the best outcomes for the long-term water security of the region and have a long-term plan that reflects their values.
We've now reached a key point where all the options are grouped into seven preliminary portfolios and we would like your input and feedback on them and your views on water supply and demand in the region.
Having heard clearly from the community in previous consultation periods, we're exploring ways to increase investment in recycled water and stormwater harvesting schemes to reduce demand for drinking water.
Recycled water and stormwater harvesting are the two most preferred options the community wants us to explore.
These options have been included in each of the seven portfolios, along with water conservation behaviours and reducing system leakage.
Hunter Water is exploring ways to increase investment in recycled water and stormwater harvesting schemes to reduce demand for drinking water.
We are also investigating ways to supplement our existing water supplies.
These options include water sharing with other regions, groundwater sources, dams, purified recycled water for drinking and desalination.
We've allocated these options across the portfolios in various combinations.
Your views will help us refine the portfolios.
Water and its availability for use is fundamental to the sustainable growth of the region and the purpose of the LHWSP review is to set up the region to be adaptable and resilient so the region can respond to shocks including drought.
The community has a big role to play, particularly in terms of water conservation and making smart water choices.
We've been grateful for, and heartened by, your response and huge savings in water use during the drought and as part of our broad Love Water campaign.
You've proved you're up to the challenge as you've come on the journey with us over the past 18 months, including through water restrictions for the first time in the region for 25 years.
Now we ask you to help us plan for the future.
Give some time to engage with us on the review of the LHWSP and you'll be contributing to a secure and prosperous water future for yourself, your family, your business, your community and the place we all call home.
When we work together, we are resilient together.
To contribute to this important process, visit the Hunter Water community engagement page.