Our 10 major reservoirs store water collected from the catchments. Together, they have a storage capacity of 1,810 billion litres, and vary in size from the smaller O’Shannassy (3 billion litres) to the massive Thomson (1,068 billion litres).
Melbourne’s water storage levels are expressed as a percentage of the combined capacity of all storage reservoirs. This is more accurate than looking at individual reservoirs because of their vast differences in storage capacity. For example, the amount of water needed to completely fill O’Shannassy Reservoir would only fill 0.3% of Thomson Reservoir.
On-stream and off-stream reservoirs
There are two types of storage reservoirs:
on-stream reservoirs are fed by a water catchment
off-stream reservoirs receive water transferred from on-stream reservoirs or other sources - for example Sugarloaf Reservoir, which can receive water from the North-South Pipeline
|Reservoir||Source of water||Capacity (billion litres)|
|Thomson||Thomson catchment, located in Thomson State Forest and a small part of Baw Baw National Park||1,068|
|Upper Yarra||Upper Yarra catchment, in the Yarra Ranges National Park||200|
|Tarago||Bunyip State Forest||37|
|Yan Yean||Combination of Toorourrong catchment, Silvan Reservoir and Winneke treatment plant||30|
|Maroondah||Watts River catchment and Graceburn Creek||22|
|O'Shannassy||O’Shannassy River and Smith Creek||3|
|Reservoir||Areas supplied||Capacity (billion litres)|
|Cardinia||Most parts of Melbourne, especially the south and south-eastern suburbs||287|
|Sugarloaf||North, west and central Melbourne||96|
|Silvan||Most parts of Melbourne||40|
|Greenvale||North-west and west Melbourne||27|
The reservoirs are connected so we can move water around the water supply system, based on factors such as rainfall and demand. Read more about how water moves through the system.