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City Expands Drought Response Plan

City of Newcastle will initiate new water savings measures in response to the introduction of Level 2 restrictions which came into effect across late last month. To assist with reducing pressure on the region’s dwindling water supplies, the drought response plan will be delivered in consultation with Hunter Water and include strategies to measure and reduce water consumption.

Initiatives include minimising irrigation practices at sporting fields, installing new rainwater tanks, using surface water catchment ponds at Summerhill Waste Management Centre and auditing water use at inland pools.

They are part of a suite of efficiency strategies which started in the lead up to Level 1 restrictions, including ceasing the annual planting regime at King Edward Park and installing smart water meters at key sites across the city that track water usage in real-time and help identify leaks.

Manager Parks and Recreation Lynn Duffy said the City has been proactive with its plan to reduce water usage.

“Hunter Water has been working closely with City of Newcastle to help predict and prepare for this scenario borne out of one of the worst droughts ever experienced across the State.

“Over the length of the water restrictions – however long they last – we will continue to work with Hunter Water on our drought response plan to ensure we’re using water as efficiently as possible while still providing a level of amenity at key sites across the city.”

The City of Newcastle has also applied for several exemptions under the Level 2 restrictions, including using some irrigation at key public parks, such as Civic Park and Foreshore Park, and some high-use sporting fields such as No.2 Sportsground which plays host to international sporting events such as the upcoming Trans-Tasman Touch Football competition.

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