The region's water storage has surpassed 65 per cent and there's rain hopefully on the way this week - but Hunter Water says the removal of water restrictions could still be a while off.
The Hunter's total water storage was at 65.4 per cent on Wednesday - 0.6 per cent higher than a week before and 1.6 per cent higher than a month ago.
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting an 80 per cent chance of rain in Maitland on both Wednesday and Thursday with a chance of rain to follow every day for the rest of the week.
But a Hunter Water spokesperson said while recent rain had been a positive step in drought recovery, we're not out of the woods yet.
"In a typical year, our storages would be well over 90 per cent capacity after the amount of rain we have received since mid-February, so it gives some indication that we are still very much in drought," the spokesperson said.
"Our storages would need to recover even further, beyond 70 per cent capacity, before we would consider removing water restrictions altogether.
"Whenever we do reach 70 per cent capacity again, it will be some time after that point until we can say with confidence that storage levels have recovered sufficiently and the climate outlook is benign."
In September, the Hunter was placed onto water restrictions for the first time in more than 20 years as the prolonged drought plummeted the region's water storage from above 88 per cent in October 2018 to about 63 per cent in August last year.
Hot, dry months followed which further decimated the storage, forcing level 2 restrictions to be introduced on January 20. The storage level fell as low as 52.5 per cent on February 6.
But thankfully, weeks of rain helped the storage rise by more than 11 per cent in two and a half weeks and put the region back onto level 1.
The spokesperson said there had not been a significant increase in water usage with the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We ask our community to continue the great work in saving water but ensure they are protecting their health through appropriate hygiene measures such as regular hand washing," the spokesperson said.
"We will continue to provide an essential, safe and reliable service to our community and urge all to practice good, regular hand-washing practices to help stop further transmission of the virus."