Based on an article published today in the Age by Marc Moncrief and Josh Gordon, it appears likely that Melbourne will access water from the desalination plant in Wonthaggi for the first time. The persistent drought conditions have led the state government to consider water reforms such as:
- allocation of 75 gigalitres in Lake Eildon belonging to Melbourne’s water retailers would be kept in the north of the state
- adding 40 kilometres of new pipeline to areas not yet connected to the grid with a view to filling in last remaining gaps to create a water grid allowing authorities to shift water around Victoria
- upgrading the north south pipe to allow it to shift water north over the Great Dividing Range.
A document leaked to Fairfax Media last month gave a grim assessment of the state’s water resource. While Melbourne’s water supply is at more than 70 per cent of capacity, storage levels in some parts of the north-west have fallen dramatically to just 30 per cent due to poor rainfall.
JEFF WEBB, Managing Director, JNW Strategic Consulting
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