Water Eases in Region’s North ~ Valley Still Dry

Newcastle and Hunter.

While Hunter and Valley water storage continues to decline, Barrington catchment flows have eased critical shortages in MidCoast LGA areas.

Level 2 water restrictions apply to Hunter Water consumers, with Grahamstown at 53%, Chichester at 37%, and Tomago 56% ~ the two latter comprising only a quarter of the district’s capacity.

In the valley, managed by WaterNSW, Lostock is at 43% full, Glennies Creek 37%, and Glenbawn Dam holds 39% of capacity. An advisory on water allocation and outlook is here.


With good rainfall across the region in January, and predictions for more in February, MidCoast Council has cancelled plans for a temporary desalination plant at Nabiac.

After good rainfall a week ago, the project was suspended while we assessed our situation across the region in regards to water security. 

We have advised relevant authorities of the decision this week, and we’re confident that with the changing weather conditions and the expansion of the Nabiac borefield, the desalination project is not likely to be required in the near future,” said Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Rob Scott.

The bushfire emergency water access points will also be closed and capped from next week. “Demand on these sites has dropped significantly and water is now available from other sources,” Mr Scott said.

Good rainfall through January in the catchment has allowed us to start refilling Bootawa Dam with levels increasing from 30% just two weeks ago to above 50% this week.”

There is more rain predicted for next week and we will be in a good position to review water restrictions, there is a possibility we may be able to ease restrictions in February.”

Severe level 4 water restrictions have been in place across most of the MidCoast since 25 November last year, and residents and local business have felt the impact of the water shortage.

We are mindful of the considerable impact that severe restrictions place on our community, and we’re looking to provide some respite as soon as we can be confident that there’s enough water in our storages to continue to provide for our community,” said Mr Scott.

As always, our community has pulled together and worked hard to reduce water use and we thank everyone for their efforts.”

For now, everyone is encouraged to keep up the good efforts so far to conserve water, stick with level 4 restrictions (or level 3 in Tea Gardens / Hawks Nest) and watch out for new announcements.

For more information about water restrictions, and to keep updated on current developments, please visit MidCoast/waterrestrictions.

Bootawa water storage south of Wingham refilling as catchment flow normalises.