Upper Hunter Shire Council operates five water supply schemes for servicing the townships of Scone, Aberdeen, Merriwa, Cassilis and Murrurundi.
The Lake Glenbawn to Scone water augmentation scheme completed in 2012 ensures the delivery of water from Glenbawn Dam to Scone and feed through to Aberdeen. The project consisted of a pipeline, balance tank, high level reservoir, chlorine plant and pump station construction. The $14.5 million project was funded, after 10 years of lobbying, by the State Government under the Country Town Water Supply and Sewerage Program in the amount of $5.5 million.
A proposed Water Treatment Plant and Aberdeen back feed should be completed in the future.
Council also completed another project in 2020, ensuring a sustainable and robust water supply system for Murrurundi through a $14 million pipeline and pumping stations to transfer potable water from Scone to Murrurundi.
The pipeline was funded with $11.5 million Restart NSW funding through the Water Security for Regions program, $1.5 million from the NSW Government Country Towns Water Supply and Sewage Program and $1 million from Upper Hunter Shire Council through borrowed funds.
Council adopted a 30 year Capital Works and Asset Replacement Program which includes some big projects in the area of water provision, one of which being the Scone to Murrurundi Pipeline.
The NSW Office of Water provides funding for major capital projects such as pipelines and treatment plants in partnership with Council. To be eligible for future funding from the NSW Office of Water, Council must comply with the Best Practice Management of Water Supply and Sewerage Guidelines 2007.
These guidelines require Council to raise at least 75% of residential revenue from water usage charges and the remaining 25% from annual access charges. Council imoved to a 75:25 split over a three year period that commenced in 2014/2015.
These changes will encourage water conservation, as the access charge decreases and the consumption charge increases. It will give residents some choice over their water charges, allowing them to reduce their water bill by choosing to use less water.
Water is charged to residents in two ways:
- An annual access charge on their rate notice.
- A usage charge four times a year based on the consumption of water through the meter on the resident’s property.
The changes made by Council (excluding normal CPI increase) mean that a resident who uses an average amount of water would see the access charge decrease and their usage charge increase by approximately the same amount. If you are a low water user you should save money. Those who use more water will pay more.
Water usage is invoiced quarterly on the water accounts. A pro-rata charge will be calculated for water consumption when a water meter ceases to function, based on previous water consumption. Council’s water pricing policy has been reviewed in line with NSW Office of Water’s water pricing guidelines.
Current water charges can be found in Council's revenue policy.