Moorabool system

Media release issued Thursday 1 December 2011


Barwon Water will resume supplying water from the Moorabool system to Geelong residents this month following exceptional rainfall and a significant boost to storages.

The system, to Geelong's north, was hit hard by the recent drought, with Barwon Water unable to take water on a regular basis from 2008.

But above average rainfall over the past year has meant for the first time in more than a decade the Moorabool River has received substantial and sustained flows.

The Korweinguboora and Bostock reservoirs are now at 100 per cent capacity and the three Stony Creek reservoirs are sitting at 90 per cent. Barwon Water's share of Lal Lal Reservoir, which is shared with Central Highlands Water, is also at 100 per cent.

Combined, the Moorabool system is at 95 per cent capacity. This time last year it was 72 per cent while in 2009 it was down to 16 per cent.

Barwon Water General Manager Water Systems Carl Bicknell said given the healthy state of the storages it was again possible to supply water from the Moorabool system.

"At the height of the drought we relied almost completely on the Barwon system and groundwater to supply greater Geelong." Mr Bicknell said.

"There has been a remarkable turnaround in the Moorabool catchment over the past year and, from an operational viewpoint, we welcome the opportunity to fully utilise our supply system."

Water will be transferred from the Moorabool water treatment plant to the Montpellier basins before flowing to the Lovely Banks basins for distribution in the northern suburbs.

He said the supply would be mixed with water from the Otways at Montpellier. As a result, some customers may note a slight change in the taste of the water because of the different characteristics of the different catchments.

The Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA) has an environmental watering plan for the Moorabool River over summer. Barwon Water will work with the CCMA to maximise the water supply to the river and to urban users.