Preferred option selected for Colac water supply upgrade

An interconnection with the Wurdee Boluc channel near Murroon has been selected as the preferred upgrade option to secure Colac's future water supply.

In 2012, Barwon Water identified the need to upgrade Colac's water supply capacity based on predicted growth, climate change and potential risks to current infrastructure.

Six potential options were shortlisted, and we undertook an extensive community and stakeholder consultation campaign which included a survey of local residents and the formation of a dedicated community reference group.

The selected option — water from Wurdee Boluc channel via Murroon (option 4) — provides Colac with the greatest level of supply diversity. It would create a second pipeline into Colac and access to multiple supply sources including the West Barwon Reservoir, the Wurdee Boluc channel and Barwon Downs borefield (if required).

This option guards against risks to the current supply system including bushfires, land slips and any failure of the existing pipeline from the West Gellibrand and Olangolah reservoirs.

The decision is in line with the Colac Community Reference Group's independent assessment and unanimous decision to endorse the Murroon option. Securing an alternative supply was also considered the number 1 priority among surveyed Colac residents.

The project would involve constructing a small storage basin next to the Wurdee Boluc channel between Barwon Downs and Murroon and a pumping station and pipeline to Colac.

Further investigations will determine the exact size and location of the proposed storage basin, pipeline route and connection points. Project timing will be assessed based on Colac's water security outlook.

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