Securing our supplies

We’re readying the Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline to boost Geelong’s supplies following a dry spring and summer.

From April, Barwon Water will access the Victorian water grid via the pipeline, one of our crucial back-up supplies.

Minister for Water, the Hon Lisa Neville MP, made the announcement this morning at Barwon Water’s Lovely Banks storage site.

Greater Geelong’s surface water storages are 41.9% full – the lowest at this time of year since 2016. It follows a dry spring and summer, leading to both lower reservoir inflows and higher consumption.

This has prompted an order for 1.3 gigalitres of water from our allocation in the Thomson/Yarra catchment.

Left to right: Barwon Water Chair Jo Plummer, Water Minister The Hon Lisa Neville, Member for South Barwon Darren Cheeseman MP, Barwon Water Managing Director Tracey Slatter. Tracey is illustrating the historical decline of annual inflows to Barwon Water’s Otways Ranges water supply catchments.
Left to right: Barwon Water Chair Jo Plummer, Water Minister The Hon Lisa Neville, Member for South Barwon Darren Cheeseman MP, Barwon Water Managing Director Tracey Slatter. Tracey is illustrating the historical decline of annual inflows to Barwon Water’s Otways Ranges water supply catchments.

The 59-kilometre Melbourne to Geelong pipeline connects the Lovely Banks storage basins with Melbourne’s supply network at Cowies Hill, west of Werribee. Completed in 2012, the $80 million pipeline project was one of the biggest in our history. It was part of a record $750 million investment between to diversify our water sources, addressing the challenges of climate change and population growth.

There will be no additional cost to Barwon Water customers as a result of switching on the pipeline. Current prices are locked in until June 2023.

The Melbourne to Geelong pipeline is one of a number of critical back-up water sources that can supplement the existing supply system in response to dry conditions. Accessing these back-up sources is part of a balanced approach to managing our water resources and providing greater water security.

The decision to bring back-up sources online is continually monitored based on storage levels, water usage trends rainfall forecasts.

Victorian Government media release: securing water for Geelong in dry conditions