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Season Outlook: summer water demand expected to be strong

29 November 2023 | News
29 November 2023

Demand for water is expected to be strong this summer as customers look to utilise their allocations. 

Macalister Irrigation District customers received 100% of their High Reliability Water Share allocation early in the season and along with the availability of the spill entitlement, it provided a confidence boost ahead of summer.  

Demand for water is likely to be high, so allow for plenty of time when placing orders. Our staff will do their best to efficiently process orders during this busy time. 

In the Werribee and Bacchus Marsh irrigation districts, customer demand is already double the volume compared to this time last year and the five-year average for this time in the season. Allocations are at 100% High Reliability Water Shares and 60% Low Reliability Water Shares. 

It was a mixed spring for groundwater and rivers customers. It was mostly dry for Geelong and Ballarat customers, while South West Limestone aquifer usage sat at only 25%, meaning customers can carry over 30% of their entitlement into next season. 

West and South Gippsland groundwater and river customers received good spring rainfall, while East Gippsland was dry. Some Gippsland customers were prompted to start irrigating in August. Following three wet seasons in Gippsland, groundwater and river customers should plan for the forecast drier weather, to ensure full compliance with their licence conditions.  

In the Central area, Southern Rural Water will be on alert for the unauthorised take of water. This is done by monitoring stream flows in rivers and creeks and using data from observation bores to understand groundwater levels in aquifers. There is zero tolerance for water theft. 

Several major projects reached practical completion over late winter and spring, including the Newry Pipeline and channel siphon works in the Macalister and modernisation works in Werribee and Bacchus Marsh. Bungaree, near Ballarat, was a focus of the meter replacement program, with Southern Rural Water starting work to replace 162 old-style mechanical meters in Bungaree with new pattern approved meters.