Geelong region water storages

Data updated daily

Geelong’s drinking water is sourced mainly from our forested catchments on the upper Barwon and Moorabool rivers, with the Painkalac Reservoir providing water to the townships of Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven.

During periods of drought, additional water can be drawn from underground aquifers in Barwon Downs and Anglesea, and the Victorian water grid via Melbourne.

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.

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

Moorabool River system

A number of reservoirs north of Geelong form the upper Moorabool river system. These include Korweinguboora, Bostock and Stony Creek – which make up the East Moorabool system – and Lal Lal, near Ballarat, which 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 our 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.

Other water sources

In dry conditions, we have a number of alternative water supply options available that can be used to boost the available water supply.

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 can deliver up to 16,000 million litres of water annually; roughly half greater Geelong’s demand.

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.

Groundwater is pre-treated to remove dissolved minerals, before being piped to the Wurdee Boluc Reservoir, where it is mixed with the stored water supply.

Water is extracted from the Anglesea Borefield under a bulk entitlement, issued by the Victorian Government.

Barwon Downs Borefield

Six bores, between 300 and 630 metres deep, can extract up to 55 million litres a day ­– depending on demand – from an underground aquifer. This groundwater is pre-treated on site, removing dissolved minerals such as iron, before it is piped to the Wurdee Boluc Reservoir and mixed with stored surface water.

Water from Barwon Downs is managed under a groundwater extraction licence, granted by Southern Rural Water.

Under the terms of our extraction licence, we report annually on groundwater use, groundwater levels, bore maintenance and monitoring.

Gerangamete Groundwater Management Area report 2017– 2018 (PDF 2.0 MB)