Water restrictions have been lifted in Lorne after recent rains have all but filled Allen Reservoir.
The restrictions will be eased from tomorrow, Friday 20 May 2016. Permanent water saving rules will then apply.
Lorne has already received 112 mm of rain this month, well above the May mean of 84 mm. This breaks a 12-month run of below-average rainfall.
Lorne’s storages have jumped 112 million litres in just over two weeks from a low of just 33.1% at the end of April to 97.1% today.
Stage 3 water restrictions remain in place in Colac and Apollo Bay, but will be monitored and reassessed in June as both areas showed signs of recovery.
Barwon Water, in partnership with the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CMA), is forming a community and agency group to discuss the management of future environmental flows for Painkalac Creek.
Painkalac Reservoir has been taken out of service now that Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven are connected to the greater Geelong supply system via a pipeline from Anglesea.
We are looking for 8–10 representatives from a range of sectors including residents, businesses, local government and community, environmental and indigenous groups to join up to 6 representatives from Barwon Water and Corangamite CMA.
Group members should have:
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We anticipate the group will be active for approximately 12 months. Meetings will typically be held on weekday evenings in Aireys Inlet / Fairhaven. The group will agree on meeting frequency.
Expressions of interest are welcome until 5 pm, Friday 3 June 2016.
Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven are now connected to the diverse and secure greater Geelong water supply system.
The $6.6 million upgrade, launched today by Water Minister Lisa Neville, includes a new 11-kilometre pipeline from Anglesea and an upgraded pumping station.
Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven residents were previously reliant on Painkalac Reservoir, located in state forest north of Fairhaven. The small reservoir is naturally high in organic matter and subject to seasonal blue-green algal (cyanobacteria) blooms that affect the colour, taste and odour of drinking water. The 27-year-old Aireys Inlet water treatment plant had reached the end of its operational life.
The twin townships are now connected to the greater Geelong water supply system which draws water from large forested catchments on the upper Barwon and Moorrabool Rivers. Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven join greater Geelong with access to back-up water sources including deep underground aquifers and the Victorian water grid via Melbourne, ensuring long-term supply security in the face of climate change.
Barwon Water will maintain the reservoir for walking, horse riding and bicycle riding, bird watching and recreational fishing, supporting the recommendations from an extensive community consultation campaign.
The recent rain is a welcome relief for residents of Lorne.
Lorne is entirely reliant on the 175-megalitre Allen Reservoir on the St George River. Being a small water reserve, the reservoir drains steadily during drought, but also recovers quickly with rain.
Historically, Allen Reservoir rarely falls below about 75% capacity, but prolonged dry conditions saw it drop to just 33% at the end of April. Tough stage 3 water restrictions were introduced and water carting began for the first time in the town’s history.
But with about 64 million litres being captured since, Lorne’s supplies are looking much healthier. Allen Reservoir is currently 69.7% full and expected to rise.
Barwon Water will continue to monitor inflows, storage levels, demand trends and rainfall forecasts daily. Water carting has now ceased, and water restrictions look likely to be lifted next week.
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.