Council’s Drought and Demand Management Plans are reviewed either:

  • Every 5 years; or
  • After a significant drought

In December 2020 Council endorsed a recommendation to review its Drought and Demand Management Plans when water restrictions reached Level 2 or below across the region.

In preparation for this review, a statistically significant survey was conducted to gain feedback from residents on how the most recent drought had impacted them and their water usage. This information has been considered in the drafting of these plans.

A phased approach has been taken to review both Plans, and the draft versions are now on public exhibition. This review ensures the plans are as effective as possible, and consider lessons learned from the last drought, as well as infrastructure improvements.

The Drought Management Plan Review Process

The first phase of the Drought and Demand Management Plan review process

About the survey

This statistically significant survey was conducted over the phone and online in 2021.

The survey consisted of 42 questions focused on behaviours, attributes to water restrictions, awareness and communications and Council's performance.

Why we completed the survey

At the Ordinary Council Meeting held on Tuesday 13 October 2020 Council endorsed a recommendation to undertake a detailed post drought community water survey as part of an upcoming comprehensive review of the current Drought and Demand Management Plans.

This is phase two.

Council has engaged consultant, HunterH20 to help develop the new Drought and Demand Management Plans.

The revised plans will take into considerations what did and did not work during the most recent drought and feedback received during the pre-drought management plan review survey.

This is phase three.

The draft Plans will be presented to Council on 6 June 2023. Following its endorsement by Council, the plans will go on Public Exhibition.

During the 28-day public exhibition period, Council will ask residents connected to town water supply to have their say.

Following the Public Exhibition period, Council staff and Hunter H20 will make revisions to the draft Plans based on the feedback received.

The final Plans will then be presented to Council for adoption.

Once adopted, the plans will be Councils guide on how it manages its town water supplies and encourages water efficiency within the community.

Frequently Asked Questions

Imagine Chaffey Dam, our largest water source, is a bucket and each customer has a cup.

Each year in April the NSW Government lets every customer of Chaffey Dam, so irrigators, farmers, high security users, the environment, and us, know how much we can fill up our cup from the bucket.

This process is called the AWD – available water determination.

So, each customer fills up their cup with the amount they are allocated. Throughout the year we each use a different amount from our cup. Some use it all and some don’t.

When it comes time for the AWD the next year we all pour the water left in our cups back into the bucket. From here the Government gives us all a new allocation based on the total amount of water in the bucket at that time.

So essentially if we introduced water restrictions earlier to save more water one year there is no guarantee that the water we have saved will be there for us in future years when we might need it.

The current Drought Management Plan was adopted in 2015 and then revised in 2016 when the Chaffey Dam augmentation was completed.