A University of Newcastle researcher says a new study aims to provide Hunter Water with information about what water storage is needed to secure local water supplies.
The University is examining the frequency of east coast lows and their influence on the future water security of the country's eastern seaboard.
Chief Investigator Dr Anthony Kiem says while east coast lows can be destructive they help boost water storage levels.
He says Hunter Water, the Sydney Catchment Authority, and the New South Wales Office of Water, are hopeful the study will answer a number of questions.
"Should they be building new dams, should they be building desalination plants?" he said.
"If they are building new dams, where's the best place to locate them given what we know about where the rain is likely to fall?
"So there's lots of research questions from a scientific point of view, but there's also lots of questions that the people that make the decisions about where do we put a dam or do we enlarge a current dam, there's lots of practical questions that need to be answered as well."
Doctor Kiem says a decrease in frequency or change in location of east coasts lows would be damaging to water availability.
"It's really important that we know about the frequency that these east coast lows occur because if we get less of them obviously it might mean water supply problems, water security problems.
"But at the moment we know very little about the history behaviour of east coast lows and less is know about what might happen with frequency duration, location of east coast lows in the future."
© ABC 2012
13:00 EST A severe weather warning for destructive winds, heavy rain and damaging surf has been issued for the Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast forecast districts.