Securing our water future

14 Aug 2019

We’re taking action to secure the water supply for our region.

Geelong’s water storages are about 10 percentage points lower than at the same time last year and at similar levels seen during the ‘millennium drought’.

Rainfall in the Otway Ranges is just one part of a broad mix of water sources we will need to use as we adapt to drier conditions, and ensure a secure supply in all climate scenarios. With the support of the Victorian Government, we have made significant investments in alternative water sources.

The Melbourne to Geelong pipeline, switched on in March, is delivering up to 20 million litres of water each day to Geelong’s northern suburbs. We’re working to extend the reach of the pipeline to service more customers in other parts of Geelong, with construction due for completion later this year.

We are continuing to supply recycled water from the Black Rock and Northern Water plants for non-drinking uses, reducing the demand on drinking water supplies.

And we’re doing early work to prepare the Anglesea borefield so that it can be used, if needed, this coming spring and summer. The borefield ⁠— another critical part of our diverse supply network ⁠— can provide 13 million litres of drinking water daily to Anglesea, Aireys Inlet, Torquay, the Bellarine Peninsula, and parts of southern Geelong.

The Anglesea borefield will be activated if greater Geelong’s storage levels do not rise to a sufficient level to meet demand over the coming summer.

Climate trends

West Barwon Reservoir - yearly inflow

West Barwon Reservoir - yearly inflows graph

West Barwon Rainfall

West Barwon Rainfall graph

Where are we now?

Barwon region consumption (ML)

Graph showing annual demand and population growth

Anglesea information sessions

We’re encouraging our community to drop into an information session in Anglesea to learn more, including the role the borefield plays in our region’s water security, and how it would be managed to highest environmental standards.

The management of the Anglesea borefield is very different to the Barwon Downs borefield, which was operated under a groundwater licence, was fixed for 15 years and did not include the same stringent measures to protect the environment.

Sessions will be held at the Anglesea—Aireys Inlet Senior Citizens Club, 1 Macmillan Street, Anglesea, on the following dates:

  • 4.00 – 7.00 pm, Thursday 25 July 2019
  • 10.00 am – 1.00 pm, Saturday 3 August 2019
  • 4.00  – 7.00 pm, Tuesday 20 August 2019.

Community members are encouraged to drop in any time; no RSVP is required.