Melbourne's largest water storage and drought reserve, the Thomson Reservoir, is more than 70 per cent full for the first time in 15 years.
Onsite for an inspection today, Water Minister Peter Walsh said the highest winter inflow for more than two decades had seen the Thomson Reservoir make a remarkable recovery from a drought low of just 16 per cent in 2009.
"The Thomson Reservoir, which accounts for almost two-thirds of Melbourne's total storage capacity, banked 135 gigalitres of water this winter. It has now added more than 579
gigalitres on the back of two wet years," Mr Walsh said.
"As Melbourne's drought reserve, we need as much water in the Thomson as possible to withstand the next prolonged dry period. It performed that role exceptionally well in the most recent drought and was almost emptied in the process."
"The past two wet years have enabled us to utilise the Yarra storages and allow the Thomson Reservoir to replenish its levels and it is heartening to see it today exceeding 70 per cent
This year Melbourne's water storages made the highest winter gain since 1990, starting at 65 per cent and finishing the season at 76.8 per cent - a net increase of 212 gigalitres.
The 424 millimetres of rainfall across four major catchments was 31 per cent above the 30year average for the period.
With the catchments already wet from summer and autumn rainfalls, winter saw an exceptional 307 gigalitres of streamflow into the major reservoirs, which was 75 per cent
Mr Walsh said Melburnians had played their part in assisting the winter storage gain by continuing to use water at historically low levels.
"Water use has remained relatively low this winter despite the city being on Stage One water restrictions, so Melburnians deserve praise for their efforts."
"In the future, the Victorian Coalition Government's Living Victoria policy will help protect Melbourne's precious drinking water storages by developing a planning framework to boost the use and reuse of storm water, recycled water and waste water for non-potable purposes," Mr Walsh said.