More Rain Pushes Reservoirs Higher

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14th October 2009, 09:31pm - Views: 770
More Rain Pushes Reservoirs Higher

Melbourne's storages are expected to rise for the next fortnight on the back of forecast rain, which could push them to a 20 month high.

Since Grand Final Day, between 88 mm and 178 mm has fallen over the catchments. Over the same time (26 September 14 October), reservoir levels have jumped from 30.8% to 35.4% and are expected to rise above 36% by the end of the week.

A total of 83 billion litres has been banked across ten reservoirs in the past three weeks, including 63 billion from the Yarra system alone.

Manager of Water Supply, John Woodland, said the system was being operated to make the absolute most of the rain.

"Our network of dams, pumps and aqueducts have so far helped us bank close to four months' supply for Melbourne over three week period," said Mr Woodland.

"The rate of inflow has easily filled our two smallest reservoirs, Maroondah and O'Shannassy, so we're moving water to bigger reservoirs as fast as we can to make room for more.

"Maroondah Reservoir was at 58% on Grand Final Day and it's now almost full, despite us shifting water to Sugarloaf as fast as we can.

"It's likely Maroondah will spill for the first time since November 2005 if it receives much more rain, but we'll pick up as much as possible further down the river and store it in Sugarloaf Reservoir.

"We're diverting large amounts of the rain into the Upper Yarra Reservoir, which is our third largest and will be our main reserve during summer," he added.

Water can be transferred out of Upper Yarra at a rate of about 1.2 billion litres every 24 hours, which is roughly what Melbourne uses on an average day during summer.

"Our system is designed to deal with downpours, which is why we've been able to capture so much water, but we haven't seen anything like this for several years," said Mr Woodland.

"There are environmental limits on how much we can take from the rivers, and that's because they rely on occasional flushes for their basic health.

"These settings mean that the recent rain has been good for the rivers and our dams, so we're looking after the ecosystems that look after us," he added.

Latest storage levels:

Media contact:
Andrew McGinnes,
(03) 9235 7277;
0403 930 846

SOURCE: Melbourne Water

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