COLIBAN Water has forecast the 2019/20 rural season to open at 100 per cent allocation.
Manager Regional Liveability Steve Healy said the forecast is initial advice at this stage and not what the final rural allocation may be when the next season opens in mid-spring.
“Our opening allocation will be determined and announced on 1 July, 2019,” said Mr Healy.
“It is based on our assessment of available water for the next two rural seasons and what we anticipate to be available in storage for the 2022/23 rural season.
“Our catchment storages, near Kyneton, are still in a good position after the peak summer demand period, despite some record high water demand days in January and a hot dry summer,” said Mr Healy.
Coliban Water has nine separate water supply systems across the region, each with different supply source and level of water security, which are all reliant on rainfall over winter and spring.
“We manage our water resources for dry conditions. The diversification of our supply systems has given us greater access to water to ensure we have supply in store.
“In January, we commenced pumping water via Goldfields Superpipe and using our allocation in Lake Eppalock to supply towns in our Coliban Northern system, which includes Bendigo.
“This reduces the demand on our catchment storages, which are the only supply for towns in our Coliban Southern system, including Castlemaine, Kyneton, Malmsbury, Maldon and Harcourt, and our rural network.
“We received 101 millimetres of rain at Malmsbury Reservoir this summer, which is 17 millimetres below our long-term average for summer and 29 millimetres less than last year. Malmsbury, Lauriston and Upper Coliban reservoirs are currently at 67 per cent with a total volume of 46,587 megalitres.
“We anticipate our storages will receive adequate inflows over winter and spring, when we traditionally receive 85-90 per cent of our annual inflow into our storages,” said Mr Healy.
Water demand this summer had increased due to the extreme heat days and dry and warm weather experienced across the region.
“Bendigo had its largest ever daily system demand of 74.5 megalitres on Friday, 25 January, which is equivalent to more than 29 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Average daily consumption in the summer ranges from 30 to 50 megalitres.
“Everything we do to conserve water – even in the cooler months – helps our overall water security. Using water efficiently is everyone’s responsibility to help secure our water supplies and maintain greener and more liveable communities now and into the future.
“Customers are reminded to use water wisely by following the permanent water saving rules that are in place at all times. More water saving ideas for their home, business and garden can be found on our website,” said Mr Healy.