Water to combat Geelong's big dry

News

More than a billion litres of water will flow from Melbourne to Geelong over the next three months to help secure crucial water supplies for the G21 region.

Prolonged dry conditions have meant Barwon Water will begin accessing the Victorian water grid in April via the 59-kilometre Melbourne-to-Geelong pipeline.

Extremely dry conditions across the Barwon region have seen Geelong’s water storages drop to levels not seen since the Millennium Drought, prompting the Barwon Water to place an order for 1.3 gigalitres from the Thomson/Yarra catchment.

In Geelong, rainfall is approximately 43 per cent below average and storages are currently at 41 per cent capacity – down from 56.5 per cent at the same time last year. This follows a dry spring and summer leading to both lower reservoir inflows and higher consumption.

This pipeline provides a vital water security measure – harnessing the benefits of a connected water grid while ensuring the Geelong region doesn’t face water restrictions.

The 59km pipeline connects the Lovely Banks storage basins with Melbourne’s supply network, which is more secure thanks to its connection to the Victorian Desalination Plant.

Water from the interconnector will also help provide water security for the towns and communities connected to the Geelong system such as Colac, and on the Surf Coast and Bellarine.

Barwon Water has previously used groundwater from the Barwon Downs aquifer to supplement Geelong supplies – particularly during the Millennium drought. The interconnector now provides another alternative source to ensure security of supply.