Barwon Water is proposing no increases to water and sewerage prices over the next 5 years, excluding inflation.
The Water Plan, submitted to the Essential Services Commission today, recommends a 5-year price hold from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2018. The price hold would be exclusive of inflation as determined by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
The Essential Services Commission is the independent regulator for the water industry.
The recommendation is in marked contrast to the previous 5-year Water Plan period where ‘double digit' price rises funded a record capital investment program to secure greter Geelong's water supply.
Barwon Water's Board of Directors is committed to minimising prices, while meeting the demands of population growth and maintaining high quality water and sewerage services.
The draft 2013 Water Plan was released for public comment in May, 2012, and proposed a 1% annual price rise. However, cost savings and efficiencies identified since have allowed prices rises to be limited to CPI only.
The previous 5-year planning period saw record capital investment on infrastructure projects and initiatives necessary to guarantee the Geelong region's water supply for several decades. Approximately $772 million was invested under the 2008 Water Plan.
Under the 2013–2018 Water Plan, projected expenditure is halved to $360 million. Projects to be delivered include upgrading Colac's water supply and the region's largest sewage treatment facility: the Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant.
We looking for community members to join a new reference group and help us to select a new supply option for Colac and district.
Barwon Water needs to expand Colac's water supply system by 2017. Six new upgrade options are currently proposed to meet the challenges of population growth, climate variability and potential risks to current infrastructure.
We are looking for 8–10 representatives from broad range of community sectors such as business, industry, landowners, environmental groups, social welfare groups and farmers to join up to 4 Barwon Water members in a advisory board.
Colac community reference group members should:
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We anticipate that the community reference group will convene monthly until June 2013. We may need to meet more often, or extend the timings.
Expressions of interest are welcome until 2 pm Friday 12 October 2012.
Barwon Water is seeking to place a permanent environmental significance overlay on the Barham River declared water supply catchment near Apollo Bay.
An interim overlay has applied since 2005 and will expire next year. We have proposed an amendment to Colac Otway Shire's planning scheme which would make the overlay permanent.
The proposed amendment makes sure the declared water supply catchment is easily identified within the planning scheme and ensures water quality protection is taken into account when land use or development applications are considered by the Colac Otway Shire.
The amendment does not introduce any new regulations that would restrict future development. Proposals within the catchment already require a planning permit under the Colac Otway Planning Scheme and must comply with Victorian Government policies.
The proposed amendment is now on public exhibition.
Feedback is welcome until Monday 12 November 2012.
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Hard copies of the proposed amendment and associated documents are also available at:
Feedback received will be considered by Barwon Water in developing a final submission to the Victorian Planning Minister.
If approved, the amendment will be formally gazetted and incorporated into the Colac Otway Planning Scheme.
We are holding an information kiosk to give landowners an opportunity to find out more about the amendment.
9.00 am — 1.00 pm
Saturday 13 October 2012
Apollo Bay Community Market
Apollo Bay foreshore
The Black Rock Recycled Water Plant will provide high quality recycled water for residential, industrial, agricultural and community uses.
The plant, currently under construction, is located in the Black Rock environmental precint in Connewarre. The precinct is also home to the the existing water reclamation facility, biosolids drying plant and recycled water demonstration farm.
In this video, project manager Adam Cunningham provides an overview of the construction progress to date. Adam walks through various parts of the plant, including the state-of-the-art ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection facilities.
The facility is around 70% complete. Civil works are nearing completion and the electrical and mechanical fit-out phase has begun.
The construction site has recently logged 50,000 hours with no lost-time injuries.
Six options are under consideration for securing the Colac and district water supply system and we would like your feedback.
Barwon Water is investigating options to secure the water supply of Colac and surrounding towns. We need to upgrade Colac's water supply system within the next five years based on population growth, climate change and potential risks to current supply infrastructure.
The six options proposed are:
We are seeking customer, community and stakeholder feedback and would like to shortlist the options by early 2013, with a preferred option chosen by June 2013.
With more than $27 million allocated to securing Colac's water supply, this project is Barwon Water's single biggest infrastructure investment for the next five years.
To learn more and have you say, visit the links below.
Commissioning (operational testing) at the Northern Water Plant — Geelong's newest water recycling facility — is progressing well.
The Northern Water Plant will treat wastewater from the adjacent Shell Refinery and domestic sewage from Geelong's northern suburbs, producing high quality Class A recycled water.
The first phase of commissioning began in August and involves introducing wastewater into the plant, creating suitable conditions for the biological breakdown of sewage and producing Class C recycled water. The microscopic biology in the system requires some time to grow and adjust to the conditions. The plant has performed extremely well to date.
The second commissioning phase involves advance membrane filtration technologies — ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis — and is due to start in October. The advanced membrane plant will produce the Class A water from the biologically treated water.
The Northern Water Plant has been more than 9 years in the planning. Construction has seen more than 800 workers log over 200,000 hours on site, with no time lost to injury — an incredible achievement in the construction industry.
It is the first facility of its kind in Australia to treat such a high proportion of industrial wastewater and produce high quality Class A recycled water.
Barwon Water's Board of Directors cordially invite you to afternoon tea.
2.30 pm — 3.30 pm
Thursday 20 September 2012
Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre (COPACC)
Rae Street, Colac
The Directors will welcome your feedback on any Barwon Water-related issues, from service delivery and water supply to current projects and future plans for Colac and district.
This is an opportunity to put your views to the people who set the water corporation's strategic direction, policy and goals.
We look forward to your company.
Farmers in the Colac district now have access to a dedicated water conservation specialist from Barwon Water.
Tom Macdonald has more than 30 years experience working with farmers and small businesses, and is eager to help local farmers to cut their water use and save money.
Since starting in February 2012, Tom has met with more than 60 farmers in the Colac water supply area. He works one-on-one with farmers, discussing their individual needs and options. To date, Tom has advised on rainwater harvesting, better use of dam and bore water, on-site water recycling, new metering technology to identify leaks and more.
Are you are farmer or farm manager in the Colac region? Do you want to reduce your water usage and costs? Contact us to arrange a free, on-site appointment.
Geelong's water storages have topped 95% for the first time since September 1996 — almost 16 years ago.
The wettest winter in the Otways since 2004 has helped fill our reservoirs to capacity. The West Barwon Dam, near the township of Forrest, has risen rapidly from 55% at the beginning of June to full and overflowing at the end of August. The reservoir gained an extra 9,479 million litres over winter and began spilling on 27 June — the first time it had done so in almost a decade.
Wurdee Boluc Reservoir, Geelong's largest surface storage, has taken on an additional 8,119 million litres over winter, largely helped by inflows from West Barwon and the Otways.
The Moorabool supply system, with its catchments in the Brisbane ranges, also feeds Geelong's water supply. Overall, the Moorabool system gained 1,209 million litres since 1 June.
Greater Geelong's combined water storages rose almost 22 billion litres over winter — roughly the equivalent of a whole year's usage.
If the winter rainfall pattern continues into spring, we can expect storages to peak around 98%. Unfortunately, we are unlikely to hit 100% due to major maintenance works on the Stony Creek Reservoir inlet channel.
It has been quite an amazing turnaround from May 2007, when storages sunk to just 14%.
The Barwon Water Alliance has won a prestigious Earth Award for the Colac pipeline project, awarded by the Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) Victoria.
The CCF is the representative body of Australian civil engineering contractors. Their annual Earth Awards recognise best practice and environmental excellence in the construction industry.
The Colac pipeline project involved replacing a 6.2 kilometre stretch of water supply pipeline, increasing capacity and ensuring supply security for Colac. Construction in the Otway ranges presented multiple challenges such as limited access, steep and unstable terrain, working within a sensitive environment and extreme weather.
The award validates the outstanding work of the Barwon Water Alliance in minimising environmental impacts during construction.
Two other Barwon Water Alliance projects — the Lonsdale Lakes and Anglesea sewer main replacements — were also recognised as finalists.