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Latest news blog

Barwon Downs borefield study results

New scientific data showing the impacts of groundwater pumping on Yeodene Swamp (Big Swamp), also provides us with information to assist in planning and budgeting for remediation.

The research was commissioned in 2013 by Barwon Water as part of a comprehensive groundwater monitoring program. Acid-sulfate soil experts reviewed the interaction between groundwater pumping and the drying of Big Swamp, as well as options for remediation.

The study confirmed releases of acidic water from the swamp into Boundary Creek were largely the result of very dry climatic conditions and groundwater extraction.

The results of the monitoring program are helping to build a strong understanding of the connection between groundwater pumping from the borefield and nearby waterways, including Big Swamp and Boundary Creek.

The data provides a solid scientific basis for us to develop options to improve the condition of Big Swamp and minimise acid events in the future. We are committed to remediating the swamp to improve water quality and flows downstream.

The outcomes of this research, as well as community feedback being gathered through a series of workshops, will provide valuable information for our borefield licence renewal application, due to be submitted to Southern Rural Water in late 2017.

To find out more about the licence renewal project and access technical reports please visit our dedicated project page and “Your say” microsite.

  Your say: Barwon Downs licence renewal

  Barwon Downs borefield licence renewal 


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2018 Price Submission submitted

Barwon Water has submitted its 2018 Price Submission to the Essential Services Commission (ESC), Victoria’s independent economic regulator of the water industry. The submission sets out our proposed prices, service standards and customer outcomes for the next five years, beginning 1 July 2018.

The submission reflects our focus on keeping customer bills affordable, while delivering the infrastructure and services our customers value and expect.

Throughout the preparation of the submission, we’ve consulted more comprehensively with customers and stakeholders than ever before. 

We would like to thank our customers and community for their participation during the development of the submission.

You can provide feedback during the ESC’s review.

The final determination is expected to be released in mid-2018.

  Essential Services Commission: Barwon Water Water Price Submission

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Barwon Downs community workshops

We’re running two community and stakeholder workshops for the Barwon Downs borefield groundwater licence renewal application.


Workshop 1 of 2: 6.00 to 8.30 pm, Thursday 21 September 2017

Workshop 2 of 2: 6.00 to 8.30 pm, Thursday 12 October 2017


Workshop 1 of 2: Colac Otway Performing Arts & Cultural Centre
95–97 Gellibrand Street, Colac, VIC 3250

 Google map

Workshop 2 of 2: Colac Bowling Club,
Cnr Moore and Armstrong streets, Colac VIC 3250

 Google map

All feedback will be considered in the development of the 2019 licence renewal application.

Spaces are limited, and attendance is by prior registration only. Please contact us on 1300 656 007 to register.

For more information, please refer to our dedicated microsite:

  Your Say: Barwon Downs borefield licence renewal

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Board appointments 2017

The Minister for Water announced the Water Corporation and Catchment Management Authority boards today, Monday 11 September 2017.

From 1 October 2017, our Board will comprise 7 non-executive directors and the Managing Director.

  • Jo Plummer (Chair)
  • Tracey Slatter (Managing Director)
  • Elaine Carbines
  • Bernard Walsh
  • John Gavens
  • Rebecca Leonard
  • Ann Lansberry (new appointment)
  • Des Powell (new appointment).

  Water industry board appointments 

  Victorian Government media release: Women hold more than half the seats on water boards 

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"Ryrie HQ" officially opened

Barwon Water’s refurbished Geelong head office has opened its doors.

Minister for Water and Member for Bellarine the Hon Lisa Neville today officially opened the new headquarters in Ryrie Street, which now houses all of our Geelong-based employees under one roof.

Left to right: Barwon Water Chair Jo Plummer, Water Minister Lisa Neville, Barwon Water Managing Director Tracey Slatter

Wadawurrung Elder ‘Uncle’ Bryon Powell performed the Welcome to Country ceremony, including a traditional indigenous smoking ceremony, as part of the official proceedings. 

The $32 million project saw the former building, last updated in 1977, gutted and refurbished. About 100 jobs, many of them local, were created during construction.

The building, internally referred to as “Ryrie HQ”, has a 5-star Green Star rating, making it one of Geelong’s greenest businesses. Much of the building’s original concrete and steel building structure was retained, saving more than a million kilograms of CO2 emissions by minimising the use of new materials. Additionally, 80% of material removed from the site was recycled.

The modern design features a glass-walled infill connecting the north and south sections, innovative sun-shading façade, stormwater-irrigated rain garden, roof-top terrace, community café and open-plan layout accommodating up to 350 staff.

The project has helped revitalise Ryrie Street, and provides a new connection to Little Malop Street, linking with the arts and culture hotspot.

The refurbishment will nearly halve maintenance, operational and energy costs. The project is price-neutral, with these savings and consolidation of surplus buildings funding the work. Barwon Water customer bills have not been affected.

Barwon Water acknowledges the Wadawurrung people as the Traditional Owners and custodians of the land on which the new building stands. We pay respect to Elders, past and present.

  Minister for Water media release: Barwon Water opens five-star green office 

  More photos from the official opening on our Facebook page. Follow us to stay informed!

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Forrest wastewater project announced

Barwon Water and Colac Otway Shire Council will partner with the Forrest community to investigate opportunities for wastewater improvements in the town.

The strategic partnership was confirmed at a meeting with representatives of the Forrest Wastewater Group with Barwon Water and Council agreeing to allocate resources and funding for the investigation.

The commitment acknowledges the growing role tourism plays in Forrest and the local economy, and the increasing stress this might place on existing wastewater treatment systems.

The project is a great example of a collaborative process supporting the prosperity, health and liveability of the region.

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Enabling regional prosperity

Today, Barwon Water released Strategy 2030, marking the start of a paradigm shift from a utility provider towards an enabler of regional prosperity. 

Strategy 2030 builds on our proud history, and contributes more to our customers, community and region.

Barwon Water has more than 110 years’ experience in providing excellence in water and sewerage services and infrastructure. This is what we do, and we will continue to do it well.

But we are shifting our focus. Our water and sewerage services underpin economic, social and environmental dimensions of regional prosperity. With a new vision and mission, we’re moving from a utility service provider to a regional enabler.

Strategy 2030 promises to deliver through a diverse and high-performing workforce, creating common ground for strategic partnerships, a more entrepreneurial approach to commercial opportunities, and a commitment to zero waste and zero emissions.

  Strategy 2030: Enabling regional prosperity

  Strategy 2030 (PDF 3.9 MB)


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Painkalac Reservoir community open day

Painkalac Reservoir is now open to the public.

You're invited to an open day to mark the opening of the Painkalac Reservoir for recreational use.


1.30  — 4.30 pm,

Saturday 22 April 2017


Painkalac Reservoir, Moggs Creek

Meet at the Distillery Creek picnic area off Bambra Road

 Google map

Painkalac Reservoir, located north of Moggs Creek, formerly supplied water to the nearby townships of Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven. With these towns now connected to the diverse and secure greater Geelong water supply network, Painkalac Reservoir has been opened to the public for walking, riding, bushwalking, bird watching, picknicking and recreational fishing.

Join us to explore the reservoir and learn about the facilities.

We will meet at the Distillery Creek picnic area off Bambra Road at 1.30 pm for a 1.45 pm walk in. The walk to the reservoir is approximately three kilometres and is expected to take about 45 minutes. We will also be running a mini-bus.

To register your interest and assist us with catering, please contact 1300 656 007 or email.

Please note: as the reservoir is surrounded by the Great Otway National Park, dogs are not allowed.

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Queenscliff / Point Lonsdale water main re-alignment

Customers in Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale will experience reduced water pressure during work to re-align the water main supplying these towns.

The water main will be turned off for approximately 36 hours during the week beginning Monday 1 May 2017. The exact timing is weather-dependent, although we will try to complete the works early in the week and as quickly as possible.

During this time, we will connect affected customers to an alternative water supply. This will result in lower water pressure. We realise this work impacts our community, and we’re committed to working with all affected customers to minimise the inconvenience.

The re-alignment is a result of roadworks associated with constructing an entrance to The Point development from the Bellarine Highway.

For more details, please refer to the Queenscliff / Point Lonsdale water main re-alignment project page

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Solar contract awarded

Our first solar energy project is a step closer with the contract to design and build a megawatt-rated solar farm at the Black Rock environmental precinct awarded to Beon Energy Solutions.

The 2,880-panel solar array will feed renewable energy directly to the water reclamation plant — our most power-hungry asset.

The project will generate around 1,300,000 kilowatt hours of electricity  sufficient to power
about 300 homes  and save around 1,500 tonnes of CO₂ emissions annually. The solar farm will mean about 13% of the treatment plant’s electricity is supplied from a renewable source. We are aiming to power our sites with 100% renewable electricity by 2025.

The solar project will save more than $130,000 in annual operating costs; more if grid electricity prices rise. The project is expected to pay for itself within 11 years.

With completion expected by December 2017, it is on-track be the first megawatt-scale solar farm in southern Victoria.

  Media release: Solar project contract awarded (23 March 2017)

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