A new pump station connected to the Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline at Lovely Banks has been completed and switched on, allowing Barwon Water to access more water from the Victorian water grid.
The new pump station means Barwon Water can extend the reach of the 59km Melbourne to Geelong pipeline (MGP), a crucial water security measure that was switched on in April 2019.
Having access to the pipeline, Barwon’s storages and the Angelsea borefield – as well as encouraging water savings and the use of alternative water supplies such as stormwater and recycled water – means water supplies for Geelong and surrounding districts are secure.
Having a number of sources of water is important in meeting the challenges of climate change and provides a buffer against drought and dry conditions.
The 59km pipeline connects the northern suburbs of Geelong to the Melbourne network via the Lovely Banks storage basins.
The new pump station will enable Barwon Water to use the MGP to service extra suburbs such as Hamlyn Heights, Highton, Belmont and parts of Geelong West.
The water will be supplied from Barwon Water’s bulk entitlement in the Melbourne system of up to 16GL a year – which equates to about half the city’s demand in a typical year.
Since being turned on in 2019, the pipeline has delivered more than 4GL of water and helped lift Geelong storage levels from as low as 32 per cent to current levels of above 70 per cent.
Delivered by the Victorian Government and Barwon Water, the $80 million pipeline was one of the biggest in Barwon Water’s 100-year history.
There will be no additional cost to Barwon Water customers as a result of having access to the full allocation of the pipeline. The current pricing structure is in place until June 2023.
With this connection to the Melbourne system – which is underpinned by the security of the desalination plant – Barwon Water is well placed to meet the challenges of climate change and population growth, with secure supplies for Geelong, Colac, the Bellarine and communities along the Surf Coast.
Victorian Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, said, “The Melbourne to Geelong pipeline was designed to be an insurance policy against future drought and it’s proven its worth in recent years.”
“Water is essential to the environment, community health and wellbeing, and economic stability – this pipeline and pump station ensure sporting grounds, homes, businesses and industries will benefit from a secure water supply.
“Having the pipeline – and the new extension – provides us with greater flexibility so we can deliver water where and when it is most needed.”