The Hunter is bracing for level two water restrictions for the first time since the 1980s, but it's a situation communities out west would dream to be in.
"With level two water restrictions, some people are unhappy that they have to change their lifestyles but it's absolutely nothing compared to out west," Mr Barr said. "For them, the idea of a swimming pool or a dam with water in it disappeared 18 months ago.
"Compared to the rest of the state the Hunter is doing very well."
Under Level 2 water restrictions, which will be introduced on January 20 unless above average rainfall is recorded, outdoor watering is limited to 15 minutes every second day, vehicles and buildings can only be washed with a bucket and showers are limited to four minutes.
A Hunter Water spokesperson said it was really important that residents and businesses continue leading water conservation efforts.
"Now is the time to Love Water and do our bit together, with our water storages falling to their lowest levels in almost 40 years," the spokesperson said.
Mr Barr said for many in the Lower Hunter, restrictions were changing a lifetime of water use habits. But he was quick to point out that just up the road, some northern parts of the region were feeling the drought as bad as anywhere else in NSW.
He believes there should have been more advertising before restrictions hit, encouraging people to change their behaviours.
"What we know about water use is getting people to changing their habits takes a lot of time and investment in advertising," he said.
"It's quite naive to introduce them and think everyone will follow."
The Hunter Water spokesperson said the community was doing a fantastic job at saving water by using 17 per cent less than what was expected, but admitted there had been more than 670 reported breachesto date.
Mr Barr said he was not criticising people who disobey the rules nor the water utilities themselves, but the Government for not swamping people with the water wise message sooner.
"Most people are open to changing their behaviour," he said. "But people have got a lifetime of habits.
"Hunter people can still turn their taps on to brush their teeth or have a shower.
"Everyone has to shift their view on water. The whole state has to realise how precious water is."
Hunter Water officers have been monitoring the region and while their primary focus is on education, the spokesperson said they can issue fines, and will do so, if people wilfully and repeatedly breach the restrictions.