Geelong region water storages

Data updated daily

The greater Geelong region’s drinking water is sourced mainly from our forested catchments on the upper Barwon and Moorabool rivers.

During dry conditions, additional water can be drawn from the Victorian water grid via Melbourne, and from an underground aquifers in Anglesea.

An increasing number of businesses and new residential subdivisions are also connected to recycled water.

Barwon River system

Located near the township of Forrest in the Otway Ranges, the West Barwon Reservoir sits at the base of a 51 square kilometre catchment on the West Barwon River.

Water is fed via a 57-kilometre channel to the Wurdee Boluc storage reservoir, south of Winchelsea, collecting from smaller rivers and streams on the way.

This water is filtered, disinfected and fluoridated at the adjacent Wurdee Boluc Water Treatment Plant, before being delivered to customers throughout greater Geelong via a network of pipes, tanks and covered storage basins.

Moorabool River system

A number of reservoirs north of Geelong form the upper Moorabool river system. Korweinguboora, Bostock and Stony Creek reservoirs which make up the East Moorabool system; and Lal Lal Reservoir, near Ballarat, is the main storage on the West Moorabool River. Lal Lal Reservoir is jointly managed by Barwon Water and Central Highlands Water, with Barwon Water allocated a third of its water.

Water from the Moorabool catchments is filtered, disinfected and fluoridated at the Moorabool Water Treatment Plant at She Oaks. This water is then transferred to towns and suburbs north of Geelong.

Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline

The Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline is a 59-kilometre underground pipe connecting Geelong’s storage basins at Lovely Banks with Melbourne’s water supply network at Cowies Hill, west of Werribee.

The pipeline is capable of delivering up to 16,000 million litres of water annually; roughly half greater Geelong’s demand. It supplies towns and suburbs to Geelong’s north from Rippleside and Drumcondra to Lara and Little River.

Following prolonged dry conditions, a decline in storage levels, and an increase in regional water consumption, the pipeline was switched on in March 2019.

See also: Securing our supplies: readying the Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline to boost Geelong’s supplies.

Anglesea borefield

The Anglesea borefield comprises 7 bores across two sites. These bores tap into the Lower Eastern View Formation – a vast aquifer approximately 700 metres below ground.

During times of drought, the borefield can supply up to 20 million litres a day; around one-fifth of Geelong’s demand.

Apart from operational testing, we have not accessed groundwater from the Anglesea borefield to boost surface supplies.

When in use, groundwater is pre-treated to remove dissolved minerals, before being transferred to the Wurdee Boluc Reservoir, where it is mixed with the stored water supply.

Our access to groundwater from the Anglesea Borefield is governed by a bulk entitlement, issued by the Victorian Government.

Barwon Downs borefield

The Barwon Downs borefield has historically been a crucial back-up supply source for the greater Geelong region during drought.

Groundwater was first drawn in 1983 in response to severe drought. In 2007, at the height of the millennium drought, Geelong’s water storages had dropped to just 14% before being supplemented with groundwater. The borefield was last accessed following prolonged dry conditions in 2016.

In March 2019, we formally withdrew our application to access groundwater from the borefield. This decision allows us to focus on the remediation of environmental impacts of historic groundwater pumping.

See also: Focus on remediation of Boundary Creek and Big Swamp