Water Outlook

See Melbourne’s water outlook for the year ahead: a summary of the state of our water availability and demand, and what this means for Melbourne – including actions the water industry is taking to secure our water supplies.

The outlook is based on storage levels in Melbourne’s water supply system as of late November each year, taking into account factors like rainfall, water orders from the Victorian Desalination Plant, and water conservation behaviours.

Melbourne’s water outlook at a glance

Melbourne's Water Outlook for 2021:
Our water storages levels are secure, but growing challenges mean we all have a part to play in protecting supplies for the future.

At a glance:

Young girl washes her hands over a sink

  • A resilient and flexible approach to managing our water supplies is more important than ever, as we face challenges like extended drought, dry conditions and greater weather variability.
    2019 was Australia’s warmest and driest year on record. Above average rainfall and streamflow in 2020 has helped provide a welcome boost to storages, but we know they fall quickly in dry conditions – as experienced during the Millennium Drought.
  • Desalinated water will continue to be part of our regular water supply.
    The Victorian Desalination Plant is delivering 125 billion litres of water in 2020-21, and has delivered 260 billion litres since 2017. Without this extra water, our storages would be around 14.4% lower.
  • Permanent Water Use Rules remain to reduce demand on our precious drinking water.
    Alongside the permanent rules, the ‘Make Every Drop Count’ campaign has encouraged awareness of water availability challenges to support the Victorian Government’s Target 155 voluntary water efficiency program.
  • Melburnians used 157 litres of water per person per day in 2019-20, the lowest since 2011.
    Many people’s water usage habits changed during 2020 as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19), with an increase in working and schooling from home, but Melburnians are still being conscious of the water they use.

Did you know 40% of household water is used in the bathroom? Let’s make every drop count.

Download the Water Outlook

For an in-depth look at these issues, download the Water Outlook:


Last updated:
10 August 2021