Development in a Drinking Water Catchment

Guidelines for Development in the Drinking Water Catchments

Following the introduction of a new Hunter Water Regulation in September 2015, Hunter Water has developed and published a new Guideline for Development in the Drinking Water catchments.

Hunter Water's drinking water catchments are located within the Port Stephens and Dungog local government areas. Hunter Water participates in the planning and assessment process for development proposals that may impact on drinking water supplies by referral from the relevant consent authority (Port Stephens Council, Dungog Shire Council or the NSW Department of Planning).

The objective of the Guideline is to assist property developers and consent authorities, by providing clear information about potential impacts to drinking water quality from development in the drinking water catchments, and Hunter Water's expectations for protecting drinking water.

The Guideline is not intended to replace existing council and NSW Government planning processes and policies, rather it is intended to complement existing planning processes. The Guideline includes broad-scale maps of the catchments; however customers should contact their local council with any development enquiries in the first instance.

The types of development proposals that have the potential to significantly affect water quality in the drinking water catchments, and therefore 'trigger' the referral of a Development Application to Hunter Water are:

  • a subdivision of more than four lots; or
  • agriculture, livestock or industrial/commercial development, multiple dwelling sewage treatment, or large-scale land clearing, earth works, infilling or concreting (affecting more than 2,000m2); or
  • extractive industry (including mining, quarrying and gas exploration or extraction).
  • certain development within the direct hydro-logical catchment of Grahamstown Dam or the draw zone of groundwater extraction wells for which consent is required, such as subdivision, new dwellings or commercial development.