Video: Securing our water supply

10 September 2019
Duration
2:33
Audio described version
Transcript

00:00

Reliable water supply is essential

00:02

to life, health and prosperity.

00:05

It's been crucial

00:06

for Melbourne's growth and status

00:08

as one of the world's most liveable cities,

00:10

which is why securing our water supply

00:12

is so important to our future.

00:15

We learnt during the Millennium Drought

00:17

how quickly water storage levels can decline -

00:19

20% in a single year

00:22

and as much as 30% in a year and a half.

00:25

So, we operate our water system

00:27

to provide a buffer of water in our storages

00:29

against the next drought,

00:31

and also to help manage natural disasters

00:33

like bushfires.

00:35

In 2019, Melbourne's water storages

00:38

were at the lowest they have been since 2011 -

00:40

just after the Millennium drought –

00:42

and have declined 30% in the last six years.

00:47

Climate change is affecting our water supply.

00:52

Winter and spring are becoming drier,

00:54

and rainfall more variable.

00:59

Greater Melbourne is using more water

01:02

than our rainfall is providing.

01:04

And even though we are quite good

01:06

at conserving water,

01:07

there are now more of us than ever before,

01:10

putting greater demand on this precious resource.

01:14

So, we must act now

01:15

to ensure Melbourne's water supply remains secure.

01:19

The good news is

01:20

we learned a lot during the Millennium Drought.

01:23

We know we cannot build more dams

01:25

because less rainfall means

01:26

there is less water to fill them.

01:28

And we know that severe restrictions

01:30

can reduce our quality of life.

01:32

So, your water organisations

01:35

are already working hard

01:36

to extend the use of recycled water,

01:38

to harvest more stormwater,

01:40

and are partnering

01:42

with the State Government and councils to plan

01:44

for a more sustainable, water-sensitive city.

01:47

We must also use our desalination plant

01:50

to help rebuild and maintain our buffer

01:52

of water in storages against the next drought.

01:55

Our desalination plant can only supply

01:57

one-third of our annual water needs,

02:00

so we must use it early and regularly

02:03

to help meet our water demand

02:04

and restore storage levels.

02:06

And, of course, we should continue

02:08

our important water-saving habits.

02:10

If we all reduce water use

02:12

by just two-thirds of a bucket per day,

02:15

we can hit our target of 155 litres per person

02:19

per day or less.

02:20

And then we can all continue

02:22

to enjoy Melbourne's famous lifestyle

02:25

with enough water for this

02:27

and future generations.