The Hunter’s future supply of fresh drinking water has been assured, with planning approval granted for a desalination plant at Belmont.

The $200 million plant will be able to deliver up to 30 million litres of drinking water per day.

The plant is part of the draft Lower Hunter Water Security Plan to be released next week.

Hunter Water says having a desalination plant would be a major step to drought-proofing the region and was one of only a few water supply options which doesn’t rely on rainfall.