The Andrews Labor Government has today acted to secure Ballarat’s water supply by placing an order of 50 gigalitres of desalinated water to be delivered next Summer.
Melbourne’s water storages have been declining steadily for the past two years and have dropped 152 gigalitres in the past year alone. In Ballarat, storages currently sit at 52 per cent compared to 67.1 per cent at this time last year.
Advice provided to the government by Melbourne Water in consultation with the three metropolitan retailers, recommended placing a water order of 50 gigalitres. The advice is based on a detailed analysis that considers current water levels in the storages, the likelihood of low inflows, dry conditions in the short-term, and forecast demand.
This critical move will improve water certainty for families in Ballarat. It will mean certainty for businesses, for sporting grounds and local communities.
Ballarat and Geelong currently both have access to water in Lal Lal Reservoir. Geelong can also access water from Melbourne's storages, which are set to be boosted with desalinated water. This allows Ballarat to access more water in the Lal Lal Reservoir, providing greater water security for the city.
With the ongoing pressures of population growth and climate change, as well as the current dry conditions, the Government will also reactivate the Target 155 water savings campaign.
Target 155 will include:
· A reminder that permanent water use rules remain in place in Melbourne, and cities and towns across the State;
· Detail on water bills about water use and how it compares to the 155 target;
· Promoting the Schools Water Efficiency Program; and
· Working with industry, local government and community groups about using water wisely
The Government is also soon to release a Water Plan which will help ensure Victoria is best prepared to deal with the challenges posed by changing rainfall patterns, climate change and rapid population growth.
Quote attributable to Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville
"The Government has responded to the advice of Melbourne’s water corporations and will place an order to help secure Ballarat’s water security."
Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong, Geoff Howard
"We’re taking action so that our kids don’t have to play on rock hard ovals, so gardens and sporting venues are green and most importantly we can ensure a secure water supply Ballarat’s schools, hospitals, industries and homes."
Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree, Sharon Knight
"Ballarat is one of Victoria’s most beautiful cities. By taking the pressure off Lal Lal Reservoir we continue have a healthy city which helps us continue to grow."
Reviewed 19 August 2020