In a nutshell, 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 – as Andrew Hansen explains. Find out what we're doing and how you can help.
Know our water supply challenges
Did you know Melbourne is using more water than rainfall is providing? What we're experiencing is not fleeting: it's our new normal.
Our water storage levels recently hovered around 50%,the lowest storage level since just after the Millennium Drought in 2011.
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:
- 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.
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 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.
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 on 30 November each year, is published on 1 December each year, and applies for the year ahead.
The Water Outlook for 2019 explains that though Melbourne’s water storages are secure, real and growing challenges to our water supply availability require us all to act.
Working together, we can all continue to enjoy Melbourne’s famous lifestyle with enough water for our future.