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Victoria’s Water Supplies Secure Despite Hot Summer Ahead

06 December 2023

This year’s state water outlook has confirmed water supplies are in a secure position to meet Victoria’s needs in the short-term, thanks to three consecutive years of above average rainfall.

Minister for Water Harriet Shing today released the Annual Water Outlook, giving Victorians information about the forecast conditions for the year ahead.

The Water Outlook shows that water supplies are secure in the short-term and does not anticipate that water restrictions will be required in any regional city or town this summer and autumn.

All major Victorian storages on average 91 per cent full and the Bureau of Meteorology’s December to February outlook is for warmer temperatures across all of Victoria, and a moderate chance that rainfall will exceed average for most of the state.

In September 2023, following three consecutive years of La Niña conditions, the Bureau of Meteorology declared an El Niño and positive Indian Ocean Dipole. The combination of these events typically leads to reduced spring and summer rainfall and unusually warmer temperatures.

We know that storages can drop rapidly during hot, dry periods. If a repeat of the Millennium Drought was to occur from the current storage position, even with full use of the existing desalination plant, storages would decline rapidly and could trigger severe water restrictions in Greater Melbourne in less than four years.

While short term conditions are strong, using water wisely and efficiently is important to developing sustainable long-term habits and conserving our precious drinking water as part of Target 150, encouraging Melbournians to limit their use to 150 litres of water per person per day or less.

The Allan Labor Government is working closely with the water sector towards long-term reliable water supply options for Victorians everywhere.

Projects like the new Dingley Recycled Water Scheme can help provide much needed water while taking pressure off Victoria’s drinking water supply – when complete the pipeline will deliver an additional 1.8 gigalitres of sustainable recycled water each year to sporting facilities and businesses across Melbourne’s south east by 2025.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Harriet Shing

“The Annual Water Outlook helps Victorian communities stay informed about the forecast conditions for the year ahead and the amount of water in our storages.”

“The desalination plant is a critical part of our long-term water supply, ensuring Victoria has a secure water supply as our population grows and we respond to more frequent and longer dry periods.”

Reviewed 06 December 2023

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