Restrictions removed

Media release issued Thursday 17 February 2011

 

Stage 1 restrictions will be removed in the greater Geelong region from Tuesday, March 1, 2011.

More than 60 towns and suburbs will revert to the Permanent Water Saving Plan, which outlines sensible rules to prevent water wastage.

Barwon Water Chairman Roger Lowrey said a dramatic increase in storage levels, new water projects and entrenched water-saving behaviour meant it was appropriate to remove restrictions.

"Exceptional late spring and summer rain has boosted reservoirs to a nine-year high," Mr Lowrey said.

"In addition, water consumption has remained at low levels this summer despite the easing of restrictions, from Stage 2 to 1, in September last year," he said.

Storages are currently at 78.3 per cent compared with 33 per cent at the same time last year

While above average rainfall was responsible for the turnaround in storage levels, Barwon Water's record capital investment program also ensured supply security for the future, Mr Lowrey said.

"The new Anglesea borefield is operating, construction of the Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline is underway and plans for our new recycled water plants are progressing well," he said.

"These projects will provide an additional 75 per cent of current demand within three years.

"But regardless of the excellent position in which we find ourselves, residents are encouraged to continue to use water wisely and make savings wherever possible," Mr Lowrey said.

Rules under the Permanent Water Saving Plan differ only slightly from Stage 1 restrictions. The main change is extended watering times for people using manual or automatic watering systems. 

The plan stipulates:

  1. A hand-held hose must be fitted with a trigger nozzle and can be used to water gardens and lawns or wash vehicles at any time.
  2. Manual watering systems, turned on by hand, can be used between 8pm and 10am.
  3. Water systems set to run automatically can be used between 10pm and 10am.
  4. Hosing down driveways, paths, timber decking, concrete or other paved areas is not permitted except in cases of emergency.
  5. Owners must seek approval from Barwon Water to fill new pools and spas with a capacity of 2,000 litres or more.

Mr Lowrey said the Permanent Water Saving Plan was last in place in June, 2006. Customers had saved 45,300 million litres of drinking water since Stage 4 restrictions were introduced in December that year.

"This was 13,200 million litres better than expected and ensured continued supply security during one of the worst droughts on record. The community is commended for its co-operation and support over the past four and a half years," Mr Lowrey added.

For more information on the plan, visit our website www.barwonwater.vic.gov.au, or telephone 1300 656 007.