Storages hit 16-year high

Geelong's water storages have topped 95% for the first time since September 1996 — almost 16 years ago.

The wettest winter in the Otways since 2004 has helped fill our reservoirs to capacity. The West Barwon Dam, near the township of Forrest, has risen rapidly from 55% at the beginning of June to full and overflowing at the end of August. The reservoir gained an extra 9,479 million litres over winter and began spilling on 27 June — the first time it had done so in almost a decade.

  Video: West Barwon Reservoir spilling


Wurdee Boluc Reservoir, Geelong's largest surface storage, has taken on an additional 8,119 million litres over winter, largely helped by inflows from West Barwon and the Otways.

The Moorabool supply system, with its catchments in the Brisbane ranges, also feeds Geelong's water supply. Overall, the Moorabool system gained 1,209 million litres since 1 June.

Greater Geelong's combined water storages rose almost 22 billion litres over winter — roughly the equivalent of a whole year's usage.

  Geelong region water storages


If the winter rainfall pattern continues into spring, we can expect storages to peak around 98%. Unfortunately, we are unlikely to hit 100% due to major maintenance works on the Stony Creek Reservoir inlet channel.

It has been quite an amazing turnaround from May 2007, when storages sunk to just 14%.

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