The project’s strategic business case, developed by WaterNSW, was approved to proceed to the final business case stage in 2020.
Why the project is needed
The proposed project was recommended as a long-term water security solution in Infrastructure NSW’s State Infrastructure Strategy 2018–2038, the Department of Planning and Environment’s Greater Hunter Regional Water Strategy and the Lower Hunter Water Security Plan.
The potential scheme would provide greater flexibility to manage overall supply and demand within the Hunter Valley by linking the Upper Hunter region’s eastern zone (known for higher rainfall and catchment runoff) with the region’s western zone (given its large water storage capacity).
Creating a link between the proposed pipeline and Hunter Water’s supply system would optimise the use of existing dam infrastructure and provide improved drought resilience for the Lower Hunter region as well as the Central Coast.
Water Infrastructure NSW and Hunter Water are in the early stages of preparing a final business case for the proposed project.
This final business case will build on the analysis of options in the strategic business case to produce a more comprehensive analysis of the proposal.
Its development will involve a range of technical, environmental, cultural heritage and economic studies as well as comprehensive engagement with stakeholders and the community.
At this stage, the project’s final business case is expected to be completed in early 2024.
Whether the project ultimately proceeds will depend on the outcomes of the final business case, future comprehensive environmental assessments, formal planning approvals and funding availability.
WaterNSW remain the owner and operator of the Lostock Dam and Glennies Creek Dam.
From December 2022, Water Infrastructure NSW will investigate sites across the project area and Hunter Water will investigate potential routes and sites for the proposed offtake and water treatment plant and pipeline.
The purpose of these initial investigations is to better understand possible water supply infrastructure options at various locations, which will be used to inform the project’s final business case.
Access to both public and private land may be required for these site investigations, which (depending on the location) will include a range of environmental, ecological, cultural heritage and geotechnical assessments and inspections.
Water Infrastructure NSW and Hunter Water are contacting landowners directly if their property potentially needs to be accessed as part of these investigations.
Water Infrastructure NSW and Hunter Water are committed to building and maintaining respectful, trusted and collaborative relationships with relevant communities and stakeholders to ensure this proposed water infrastructure project achieves the best possible outcomes.
We believe in engagement with real, tangible and practical outcomes enabling our communities to work in partnership to deliver projects realising a wide range of benefits with minimal disruption.
We will provide ample opportunities for local communities and stakeholders, including Traditional Owners and First Nations communities, to have their say on the project as it progresses.
Upcoming public engagement opportunities will be highlighted on this project webpage and on the Water Group’s stakeholder engagement page.
Upcoming community information sessions
Community members are invited to drop in at several information sessions being held in December 2022 to learn more about the proposed project, ask questions and provide feedback to the project team.