Central and Northern Victorian water utility, Coliban Water, reports that regional water storage capacity is currently 3.3GL higher than in 2022, owing to a winter rainfall of 277mm.
Executive General Manager Strategy, Jarrah O’Shea, said catchments in the Coliban Water region are now in a strong position heading into spring and summer.
“Our storages received 29GL of inflows after above average rainfall over winter,” Mr O’Shea said.
“This inflow figure is similar to the long-term average, but off the back of a particularly wet 2021, our key water storages are at 100 per cent capacity, having started the winter months at 76 per cent.
“All three reservoirs were spilling at 1 September and will remain closed to on-water recreation for the safety of users.
“This means we’re seeing good flows through to Lake Eppalock, where our 18 per cent share is also at capacity, and benefits for our local waterways through added environmental flows.”
The region’s three-month climate outlook and forecast La Nina conditions means there is a high chance above average rainfall will continue during spring and summer.
While this rainfall is not guaranteed, Mr O’Shea said Coliban Water will continue to manage its storages and day-to-day operations to cope with higher than average inflows.
“Our winter rainfall was 35mm more than last year, and 36mm more than the long-term average. August was particularly wet, with 140mm received at Malmsbury, which is 50mm more than the August average,” Mr O’Shea said.
“A proactive program of monitoring at our reservoirs and water storages over the coming months will ensure we can pre-release water to manage reservoir levels ahead of predicted rain events.
“Our team is also working hard to prevent blockages and spills in our sewerage system, which can be impacted by excess stormwater and debris in the system during extreme rain events.
“Our Stop the Block program maintains over 2,000km of sewer mains in the Coliban Water region and more than $1 million is invested annually to prevent blockages and limit disruption to customers. So far, it’s helped us avoid around 3,800 blockages,” Mr O’Shea explained.
In July, Coliban Water announced a 100 per cent allocation for the 2022/23 rural season for the twelfth year in a row. Supported by favourable storage levels, rural customers will have access to the full licence water volume for their property.
But the organisation is reminding customers not to become complacent as we continue to face the challenges of climate and population change.
Permanent Water Saving Rules remain in place across the region to assist with overall water security.
Coliban Water provides regular updates on storage levels, its reservoirs, rural season, and permanent water saving rules on its website and social media channels.