Stage 3 water restrictions will be introduced in the Colac, Lorne and Apollo Bay water supply systems from 1 am on Sunday 1 May 2016 as unprecedented dry conditions continue.
Stage 3 water restrictions will apply across the following suburbs and towns:
Stage 2 restrictions were implemented in Colac and Lorne last month and have been successful in reducing demand. However, storage levels have continued to fall with only minimal rainfall and inflows recorded.
Apollo Bay, Marengo and Skenes Creek will go straight to Stage 3 restrictions after a sharp decline in storages over recent weeks.
Lorne’s supplies sit at 33.7% capacity while Colac and Apollo Bay’s storages are just 26% full.
Storages in all three regions were in a healthy position ahead of summer, but record dry conditions have seen supplies fall into the restriction range.
The increase from Stage 2 to Stage 3 further restricts garden watering, with hand watering only permitted between 6 am and 8 am on alternate days.
Under Stage 3 restrictions, lawns cannot be watered, sprinklers are banned, and only water-efficient dripper systems are permitted between 6 am and 8 am on alternate days.
Lorne will receive approximately 200,000 litres daily from the greater Geelong network to help maintain the town’s supplies.
Water carting trucks will travel from Winchelsea to Lorne via Deans Marsh, starting next week.
Residents in Lorne, Colac and surrounding towns may notice changes in the taste of their water as supplied are blended and balanced across the networks.
Permanent water saving rules will continue to apply in the greater Geelong supply region, including Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven.
Geelong has access to a diverse range of water sources including catchments on the Barwon and Moorabool River systems, groundwater at Barwon Downs and Anglesea, and the Victorian water grid via Melbourne.
The Victorian Government is developing a new Water Plan which will set the strategic directions for water management in the state for decades to come.
In 2015, a draft plan was developed with input from key stakeholders across the water industry including water corporations, catchment management authorities, traditional land owners, local government, farming and environmental groups.
The plan includes nine key focus areas including responding to climate change, waterway and catchment health, water for agriculture and jobs, economy and innovation.
The draft plan will be open for public consultation until Friday 13 May 2016. The final plan is due to be released in mid-2016.
The Melbourne to Geelong pipeline, a crucial water security measure, was switched on for the first time today by Water Minister Lisa Neville.
Extremely dry conditions have seen local water storages drop to levels not seen since the millennium drought, prompting Barwon Water to place an order for 6 gigalitres of water from Victorian water grid.
Greater Geelong water storages currently sit at 34.5%. This time last year they were at 60%. At the peak of the drought, Geelong supplies dropped to just 14%.
The 59-kilometre pipeline connects the Lovely Banks storage basins with Melbourne’s supply network at Cowies Hill, west of Werribee.
Completed in December 2012, the $80 million pipeline project was one of the biggest in Barwon Water’s 100-year history, part of a record $750 million investment program to diversify the region’s water sources and service growth.
There will be no additional cost to our customers as a result of switching on the pipeline. Prices are locked in until June 2018 and are declining 1.6% a year, on average, excluding inflation.
Barwon Water is now calling on back-up water sources — the Melbourne to Geelong pipeline and Barwon Downs borefield — in response to prolonged dry conditions.
We will tap into the Victorian water grid via the 59-kilometre Melbourne to Geelong pipeline from the beginning of April.
The Barwon Downs borefield, a critical source previously used to supplement supplies in drought conditions, is also being readied for operation.
No. Customers will not pay extra for these water sources. Prices are locked in until June 2018.
Possibly. Some customers notice a change in the taste of their water when the sources are changed. All water supplied is 100% safe to drink and fully compliant with Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
No. The Melbourne to Geelong pipeline connects Geelong’s storage basins at Lovely Banks with Melbourne’s water supply network at Cowies Hill, west of Werribee. Melbourne’s supply network will be topped up via the desalination plant near Wonthaggi.
Barwon Water customers will not receive desalinated water.
If you have any questions or concerns about your water, please contact us.
Stage 2 water restrictions will be introduced in Colac — and surrounding towns — and Lorne on Thursday 24 March 2016.
The restrictions are in response to persistent low rainfall and declining storage levels.
The Colac and Lorne supply systems are particularly vulnerable to dry conditions due to the relatively small capacity of their reservoirs that drain quickly during periods of high demand. Fortunately, these storages also recover quickly when it rains.
Under Stage 2 restrictions:
Permanent water saving rules apply elsewhere in our region, including greater Geelong.
Barwon Water monitors storages, forecast and demand trends on a daily basis.
We are looking for four community members to join our Customer Consultative Committee (CCC).
The committee meets quarterly to provide us with valuable feedback on customer-related issues relevant to our operations and activities.
We are looking for individuals from a range of ages, backgrounds and from rural, regional and culturally diverse communities from across the Barwon Water service region.
If you are interested, or would like to find out more, please drop us a line.
Applications close Friday 8 April.
Barwon Water is calling upon backup water sources — the Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline and Barwon Downs borefield — to provide security for greater Geelong in response to prolonged dry conditions.
Barwon Water will access the Victorian water grid via the 59-kilometre Melbourne to Geelong pipeline, beginning next month. We have notified Melbourne Water of our intention to access up to 6 gigalitres (6 billion litres) over the coming year. Melbourne’s supplies will be topped-up via the Wonthaggi desalination plant, due to be switched on next summer.
Barwon Water customers will not pay extra; our prices are locked-in until June 2018. In fact, water prices are going down 1.6% a year, on average, excluding inflation.
We are also readying the Barwon Downs borefield — a critical back-up source previously called upon to supplement supplies in drought conditions.
We will continue to monitor storage levels, consumption patterns and weather forecasts.
The Permanent Water Saving Plan remains in place.
Geelong’s water storages are currently at 38.3% capacity – the lowest since August 2010. This time last year, they were 63.9% full.
At the height of worst drought on record, storages dropped to 14.2% (May 2007).
No. Prices are locked in until June 2018 under Barwon Water’s 2013–2018 Water Plan. This includes an average annual decrease of 1.6%, excluding CPI.
Some customers may notice a change to the taste of their water when sources are changed. This is normal and all water supplied is 100% safe to drink.
Barwon Water invested heavily in water security infrastucture during and following the last drought — an investment that is now being called upon.
The Permanent Water Saving Plan — common-sense rules to save water every day — remains in place.
Staged water restrictions are now a last resort so Geelong can still maintain its liveability even as drying conditions continue.
No. The Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline connects Geelong's storage basins at Lovely Banks with Melbourne's water supply network at Cowies Hill, west of Werribee. Melbourne’s supply network would be topped up via the desalination plant near Wonthaggi.
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Painkalac Reservoir near Aireys Inlet will be opened to the public for walking, riding, bird watching and recreational fishing.
The reservoir will be taken out of service when the townships of Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven are connected to the Geelong supply system via a pipeline from Anglesea. The changeover is expected later this year.
Barwon Water established a community and agency group to discuss possible future uses of the reservoir and recently endorsed the group’s recommendation.
The site will feature a shared-use track on either side of the reservoir for walking, horse riding and bicycle riding, plus picnic facilities and educational signage at key locations.
The reservoir will be maintained to ensure its ongoing safety and environmental flows to Painkalac Creek.
Work on the $6.6 million Aireys Inlet / Fairhaven water supply system upgrade is well underway, with the 11-kilometre pipeline and pumping station upgrade complete and work on-track for completion in mid-2016.
Customers in the Golden Plains region and Geelong’s northern suburbs may have noticed a change in the taste of their water.
This is due to these customers receiving water from Lal Lal reservoir, part of the Moorabool catchment, near Ballarat.
The change is normal at this time of year as we balance surface water supplies across the network. However, particularly dry conditions have meant the change is more noticeable this summer.
Customers in Bannockburn, Teesdale and Inverleigh receive water from the Moorabool system over the summer months. This water has a different taste profile to the water from the Barwon River catchments in the Otways that supply these towns for most of the year. Customers in Geelong’s northern suburbs are receiving a blend of water from the Barwon and Moorabool catchments.
Our water quality and operations teams are monitoring water quality and treatment processes and continue to make adjustments where possible to reduce the effect of the seasonal change.
All water supplied is 100% safe to drink and compliant with Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. None of our catchments were affeceted by the recent bushfires.