Monday, December 2nd, 2019
Each year in November, South Gippsland Water undertakes a review of forecast water availability and consumption in the context of predicted weather and climate models. Through this process, a Water Security Outlook is published to give an indication of which water systems might experience pressure or the potential for Staged Water Restrictions to be imposed in the forthcoming summer.
South Gippsland Water operates eight separate water supply systems servicing 21 townships. Four systems utilise reservoirs and another four utilising water drawn from stream and river flows. This summer, South Gippsland Water’s modelling predicts warmer and drier than average summer conditions. Recent spring rainfall has meant that as we enter the summer months, storages are in a good position. However, three systems have been identified where water restrictions may be ‘possible’ this summer and into autumn.
Ruby Creek storage levels are expected to be close to stage 1 water restriction triggers over the coming year under the anticipated dry climate scenario. If climate conditions are drier than expected, restrictions may need to be implemented.
For Fish Creek, based on the volume in storage and the Bureau of Meteorology climate forecast, no water restrictions are anticipated. However, Fish Creek’s Battery Creek Reservoir is a small system and can change quickly in the event of sustained dry conditions, even if only for a few months.
The Agnes River Water Supply System storage levels and river flows are expected to remain high relative to water restriction triggers over the coming year under the anticipated dry climate scenario. If conditions are drier than expected, restrictions may need to be implemented.
Recent works to connect South Gippsland Water’s northern towns; Korumburra, Poowong, Loch and Nyora to the Lance Creek Water Supply System has provided greater water security to these towns and removed the need for summer water restrictions, as has been the recent experience.
|Reservoir||Major towns supplied||% Likelihood||Likelihood of restrictions|
|Lance Creek||Wonthaggi, Inverloch, Cape Paterson, Korumburra, Poowong, Loch and Nyora||<1%||Very Rare – may occur in extraordinary circumstances|
|Ruby Creek||Leongatha and surrounds||20-49%||Possible – might occur. There is some opportunity, reason, or means to occur|
|Foster Dam – Deep Creek||Foster area||<1%||Very Rare – may occur in extraordinary circumstances|
|Battery Creek||Fish Creek||20-49%||Possible – might occur. There is some opportunity, reason, or means to occur|
|River System||Major towns supplied||% Likelihood||Likelihood of restrictions|
|Tarwin||Meeniyan, Dumbalk||1-4%||Rare – may occur only in exceptional circumstances|
|Agnes||Welshpool, Port Welshpool, Toora, Port Franklin||20-49%||Possible – might occur. There is some opportunity, reason, or means to occur|
|Tarra||Yarram, Alberton, Port Albert||1-4%||Rare – may occur only in exceptional circumstances|
South Gippsland Water’s Managing Director Philippe du Plessis said that, “The long term planning and investment into water supply systems has paid dividends, with over 70% of South Gippsland Water’s customer’s serviced from secure systems”.
“However, this does not give licence for customers or community to be wasteful of this precious resource. All customers are encouraged to target their water use and change wasteful water behaviours. Whilst no water restrictions are in place currently, the Permanent Water Saving Rules always apply”.
The top 3 permanent rules are;
- Water during the cool, between 6pm and 10am
- Install trigger nozzles on all outdoor and garden hoses
- Sweep, don’t hose. Hosing of paving and hard surfaces is not permitted
Information on the Permanent Water Saving Rules is available on South Gippsland Water’s website along with the Water Security Outlooks www.sgwater.com.au