Victoria Minister for Water Peter Walsh
Restrictions Likely To Ease As Dams Near 60 %
Victor P Taffa
Melbourne’s dams are tipped to reach 60 % early next week for the first time since November 2005.
Visiting Cardinia Reservoir today, Water Minister Peter Walsh said if it stopped raining today with the dams at 59.7 % Melbourne had at least two years worth of water in storage.
“Rainfall and the efforts Melburnians continue to make to reduce their water use makes a strong case for easing restrictions in November.” Mr. Walsh said.
“The dams are now almost 60 % full in comparison with 35.9 % at the same time last year, and only two years later than the record low of 25.6 % in mid-2009.
“Melbourne homes and industry have shown their fantastic efforts have become ingrained and, rightly, they should be rewarded with more flexibility in how they use water.”
Mr. Walsh said a decision on restrictions would be made when the filling season had ended.
“We are heading into what are typically our wettest months but with the Thomson Dam still recovering the decision won’t be taken lightly.” Mr. Walsh said.
“As a government we are conscious that almost 500 Billion litres of stormwater and 300 Billion litres of recycled water is wasted in Melbourne each year.
“In this year’s Budget we put aside $50 Million to increase the future use of stormwater and recycled water to help meet Melbourne’s non-potable water needs.”
“We are also spending $40 Million over the next four years on water rebates to give incentives for households and small businesses to keep up their water saving ways.”
Mr. Walsh said that even if water restrictions were eased, a permanent water saving regime would be put in place to ensure water was not wasted.
“We are reviewing the framework for water restrictions and permanent water saving rules and we want to hear from the community about what worked and what didn’t.” Mr. Walsh said.