Why we need to save water

Melbourne can’t rely on rain anymore to meet our growing water needs. With the impacts of climate change and population growth, we need to work together to make every drop count  find out what we're doing and how you can help. 

 

 

 

Imagine the Yarra without water...
Artists impression: the Yarra without water. Can you imagine it?

Know our water supply challenges

Climate change and population growth are challenges to our water supply that are real and ongoing.

Building more dams is not the solution for boosting water storage levels because in the long run, there will be less rain to fill them.

History has taught us that water storage levels can drop quickly:

  • Our water storage levels recently hovered around 50%,the lowest storage level since just after the Millennium Drought in 2011.
  • During the Millennium Drought, levels dropped 20% in one year and as much as 30% in 18 months.
  • On average over the last five years, our storages have lost 68 billion litres per year.
  • Without input from desalinated water, we would have lost 83 billion litres per year.

 

Want to know more? Here is a quick overview of this important issue for Melbourne.

 

    Know our water supply challenges

     

     

     

    This is what the Yarra might look like without water.
    Artists impression: What the Yarra would look like without water.

    Make every drop count by reaching Target 155

    We agree, Andrew: everyone wants to live in Melbourne and our climate is getting hotter. More people means greater demand on our water storages; a hotter, drier climate means less rain to fill our reservoirs; and water is essential to life, the environment, our economy and Melbourne’s famous liveability. 

    We’re working to plan for and manage these challenges, and we need your help. Melburnians are water wise, but we all need to do our bit to ensure we reach our daily target of 155 litres per person. Find out how.

    How you can reach Target 155

     

     

    Picture of a waterway with the Melbourne skyline in the background
    The city skyline in the background highlights how waterways are a huge part of our city.

    How we’re taking action

    We have been implementing plans to secure our water supply.

    During the Millennium Drought, severe water restrictions took a great toll on our daily lives and had a lasting impact on the economy and our liveability. 

    To avoid this, Melbourne Water is working in collaboration with government and water retailers to manage our water supply now and into the future. We need to be innovative in the way we manage our precious resource. 

    Read more about how we're combining desalinated water with water-efficiency measures, as well as investing in recycled water and stormwater harvesting, to reduce our demand on storages  and build a secure supply for Melbourne into the future. 

    How the water sector is taking action

     

     

    Read the Water Outlook

    Did you know we collaborate with the metropolitan retail water companies to produce the Water Outlook each year? 

    The outlook provides a summary of the state of Melbourne's water supply and demand, setting out actions to be taken by the water industry to maintain safe and reliable supplies.

    It is based on storage volumes in the Melbourne water supply system in late November each year, is published on 1 December each year, and applies for the year ahead. 

    Read the Water Outlook

     

     

    Working together, we can all continue to enjoy Melbourne’s famous lifestyle with enough water for our future.

    Last updated:
    27 November 2020