Video: Securing our water supply
Reliable water supply is essential
to life, health and prosperity.
It's been crucial
for Melbourne's growth and status
as one of the world's most liveable cities,
which is why securing our water supply
is so important to our future.
We learnt during the Millennium Drought
how quickly water storage levels can decline -
20% in a single year
and as much as 30% in a year and a half.
So, we operate our water system
to provide a buffer of water in our storages
against the next drought,
and also to help manage natural disasters
In 2019, Melbourne's water storages
were at the lowest they have been since 2011 -
just after the Millennium drought –
and have declined 30% in the last six years.
Climate change is affecting our water supply.
Winter and spring are becoming drier,
and rainfall more variable.
Greater Melbourne is using more water
than our rainfall is providing.
And even though we are quite good
at conserving water,
there are now more of us than ever before,
putting greater demand on this precious resource.
So, we must act now
to ensure Melbourne's water supply remains secure.
The good news is
we learned a lot during the Millennium Drought.
We know we cannot build more dams
because less rainfall means
there is less water to fill them.
And we know that severe restrictions
can reduce our quality of life.
So, your water organisations
are already working hard
to extend the use of recycled water,
to harvest more stormwater,
and are partnering
with the State Government and councils to plan
for a more sustainable, water-sensitive city.
We must also use our desalination plant
to help rebuild and maintain our buffer
of water in storages against the next drought.
Our desalination plant can only supply
one-third of our annual water needs,
so we must use it early and regularly
to help meet our water demand
and restore storage levels.
And, of course, we should continue
our important water-saving habits.
If we all reduce water use
by just two-thirds of a bucket per day,
we can hit our target of 155 litres per person
per day or less.
And then we can all continue
to enjoy Melbourne's famous lifestyle
with enough water for this
and future generations.