Anglesea borefield

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The Anglesea borefield is one of a number of water sources that can supplement the existing Greater Geelong water supply system. Our diverse water supply mix is part of a balanced approach to managing the region’s water resources and providing greater water security.

Our access to groundwater from the Anglesea borefield is governed by a bulk entitlement, issued by the Victorian Government. Under the terms of the bulk entitlement, we are licensed to extract a maximum of 40 million litres per day, 10,000 million litres in any year, and 35,000 million litres in any 5-year period.

The Anglesea borefield operates in conjunction with an extensive environmental monitoring program, which includes community oversight of the monitoring through the Anglesea River Working Group.


Extraction rates


Monthly totals


MonthMonthly volume extracted (ML)Total volume extracted - financial year to date (ML)Yearly limit*** (ML)
July 20201.952.2010,000
August 20200.102.3010,000
September 20200.102.4010,000
October 20200.502.60
10,000
November 20200.032.6310,000
December 202010.4013.0310,000
January 20210.1114.5910,000
February 20210.0714.6610,000
March 20210.1014.7610,000
April 20210.1014.8610,000
May 20210.0014.8610,000
June 20210.0414.8610,000
July 20210.070.0710,000
August 20210.030.1010,000


Cumulative total since borefield turned on
2190.98


Daily totals



DateDaily volume extracted (ML)Daily Limit** (ML)Total volume extracted – financial year to date (ML)Yearly limit*** (ML)
1/09/20210.0040.00.1010,000
2/09/20210.0840.00.1810,000
3/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
4/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
5/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
6/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
7/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
8/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
9/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
10/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
11/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
12/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
13/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000

(Table updated weekly - last updated 14/09/2021


*Between 17 August and 31 October 2019, a total of 15.8 ML of groundwater was extracted as part of the re-commissioning process of the Anglesea borefield.

**The Bulk Entitlement restricts the volume that can be extracted in any given day to a maximum of 40ML.

***The Bulk Entitlement also restricts the total volume that can be extracted in any given year to an annual limit of 10,000ML. It also restricts the total volume that can be extracted over a five year period to 35,000ML.

Groundwater level monitoring and trigger update

During operation, we report monthly on the status against the threshold level for the two key bores. Below are links to the most recent monthly status reports:

For previous reports, please visit the Document Library on the right of this page.

You can read more about the groundwater level monitoring and triggers in the Latest News below.


More information

You can read more about the role the borefield plays in our region’s water security, and how it will be managed to highest environmental standards, in the Document Library section of this page.

Please feel free to ask us any questions via the online Q&A tool below.

The Anglesea borefield is one of a number of water sources that can supplement the existing Greater Geelong water supply system. Our diverse water supply mix is part of a balanced approach to managing the region’s water resources and providing greater water security.

Our access to groundwater from the Anglesea borefield is governed by a bulk entitlement, issued by the Victorian Government. Under the terms of the bulk entitlement, we are licensed to extract a maximum of 40 million litres per day, 10,000 million litres in any year, and 35,000 million litres in any 5-year period.

The Anglesea borefield operates in conjunction with an extensive environmental monitoring program, which includes community oversight of the monitoring through the Anglesea River Working Group.


Extraction rates


Monthly totals


MonthMonthly volume extracted (ML)Total volume extracted - financial year to date (ML)Yearly limit*** (ML)
July 20201.952.2010,000
August 20200.102.3010,000
September 20200.102.4010,000
October 20200.502.60
10,000
November 20200.032.6310,000
December 202010.4013.0310,000
January 20210.1114.5910,000
February 20210.0714.6610,000
March 20210.1014.7610,000
April 20210.1014.8610,000
May 20210.0014.8610,000
June 20210.0414.8610,000
July 20210.070.0710,000
August 20210.030.1010,000


Cumulative total since borefield turned on
2190.98


Daily totals



DateDaily volume extracted (ML)Daily Limit** (ML)Total volume extracted – financial year to date (ML)Yearly limit*** (ML)
1/09/20210.0040.00.1010,000
2/09/20210.0840.00.1810,000
3/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
4/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
5/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
6/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
7/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
8/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
9/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
10/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
11/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
12/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000
13/09/20210.0040.00.1810,000

(Table updated weekly - last updated 14/09/2021


*Between 17 August and 31 October 2019, a total of 15.8 ML of groundwater was extracted as part of the re-commissioning process of the Anglesea borefield.

**The Bulk Entitlement restricts the volume that can be extracted in any given day to a maximum of 40ML.

***The Bulk Entitlement also restricts the total volume that can be extracted in any given year to an annual limit of 10,000ML. It also restricts the total volume that can be extracted over a five year period to 35,000ML.

Groundwater level monitoring and trigger update

During operation, we report monthly on the status against the threshold level for the two key bores. Below are links to the most recent monthly status reports:

For previous reports, please visit the Document Library on the right of this page.

You can read more about the groundwater level monitoring and triggers in the Latest News below.


More information

You can read more about the role the borefield plays in our region’s water security, and how it will be managed to highest environmental standards, in the Document Library section of this page.

Please feel free to ask us any questions via the online Q&A tool below.

  • Bulk entitlement review - community update September 2021

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    Barwon Water operates the Anglesea borefield under a bulk entitlement issued by the Victorian Government. The bulk entitlement stipulates the volume of water Barwon Water is able to extract.

    Our bulk entitlement includes environmental triggers and an extensive monitoring and assessment program designed to protect groundwater dependent ecosystems.

    A review of the bulk entitlement and Monitoring and Assessment Program (MAP) is due to the Minister for Water in 2024 – five years from the date that groundwater extraction recommenced.

    What’s involved?

    As part of the review, we will undertake a series of technical assessments. This will include reviewing all data we have collected as part of our MAP - groundwater level and quality, surface water level, flow and quality, vegetation and ecological, as well as acid sulfate soil investigation outcomes. We will also conduct a groundwater pumping test. We will commence the pumping test this summer, and this will run for a period of 6 months.

    Conducting the pumping test will help ensure a robust review and confirm how much water we can continue to sustainably take into the future. Our priority is to protect the environment whilst providing high quality, affordable drinking water.

    We are undertaking our groundwater pumping test to coincide with Alcoa’s pumping test. This provides the opportunity to better inform our bulk entitlement review and monitoring plan for the borefield.

    Our pumping test will include all seven bores that Barwon Water has access to. This includes the two northern bores that we did not operate as part of using the Anglesea borefield in 2019/20. Using all available bores – as well as pumping concurrently with Alcoa – will ensure our groundwater model and forecasts are as robust as possible.

    Why do we need a review?

    The review is to inform about:

    • the long-term sustainability of groundwater resources in the area
    • protecting the environmental values and health of groundwater dependent ecosystems
    • improving resource management arrangements under the bulk entitlement.

    We have 11 years of environmental monitoring data, and a comprehensive Monitoring and Assessment Program. However, the climate is changing and the review will allow us to check if anything in our management plan for the borefield needs to shift to cater to future climate scenarios. This will ensure we can continue to operate the borefield in a careful and considered way, so that we don’t have an adverse impact on groundwater dependent ecosystems.

    The review is also a requirement set by the Victorian Government.

    To learn more, please view the Bulk entitlement review 2024 overview.

    Community engagement

    We are committed to sharing information with the community, and this continues even if the borefield is not in use.

    We share updates via our dedicated Anglesea borefield web page, media releases, social media and community eNewsletters.

    Community members can also contact us any time via 1300 656 007 or info@barwonwater.vic.gov.au

  • Moving to standby mode

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    Water storages are healthier than this time last year, and we have commenced planning for moving the borefield into a standby maintenance mode from 1 July 2020.

    View the latest water storages and how they compare to last year here.

    As part of the standby mode, we will continue to extract a small amount of groundwater - at reduced rates and/or intermittently - to ensure the pumps remain operational, and are ready for future use should we need them.

    For example, we understand Alcoa has applied to Southern Rural Water to undertake a pump test of the Upper Eastern View Formation aquifer, and Barwon Water may be requested to operate our pumps in the Lower Eastern View Formation aquifer for part of this test.

    The operation of the borefield in standby mode will be reviewed once further information is available on climate and storage projections, as well as consideration of any potential requests from Alcoa.

    Future use of the borefield

    We constantly monitor water storage levels to ensure there is enough water to meet demand.

    Future use of the Anglesea borefield to supplement supplies for customers will be based on a number of factors, including time of year, volumes of water in our various water storages, climate forecasts and conditions of the water supply catchments.

    We are committed to keeping the community informed about the borefield and our monitoring program, and this will continue when the borefield is in standby mode.

  • Groundwater level monitoring and triggers

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    As part of our comprehensive monitoring and assessment program, we have 42 observation bores that monitor groundwater levels across the Anglesea catchment. These observation bores are located at different depths to monitor groundwater levels in different geological formations – in the Perched Water Table (PWT), Upper Eastern View Formation (UEVF) and Lower Eastern View Formation (LEVF).

    View the Anglesea borefield cross section to see the different formations.

    Groundwater levels are recorded daily to ensure that operation of the Anglesea borefield does not cause significant drawdown, particularly in the Anglesea Swamp. If groundwater levels remain within the likely range of natural variation, then we can be confident that operation of the Anglesea borefield is not threatening groundwater dependent ecosystems.

    Of the 42 observation bores, there are two key bores that are critical to ensuring groundwater levels can continue to support groundwater dependent ecosystems. These bores measure groundwater levels in the PWT (P8) and in the UEVF (P19).

    It is the combination of groundwater levels in both of these bores that is important. If groundwater levels in both bores fall below a certain threshold level, then action must be taken to prevent any potential damage to groundwater dependent ecosystems.

    The threshold level (also known as a “trigger”) is determined by comparison to a control bore, to account for climatic influences on groundwater levels. The control bore (P17) is located in the Salt Creek swampland outside the predicted area of influence of any operation of the Anglesea borefield. This means the control bore provides a useful comparison of the natural variation in groundwater levels due to seasonal conditions.

    We will report monthly on status against the threshold level for the two key bores. Below are links to the monthly status reports:

    Read more about our approach to triggers: Anglesea borefield trigger approach information sheet

  • Anglesea borefield community pop-ups

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    Barwon Water is hosting a series of pop-up sessions to provide an update to the community following the activation of the Anglesea borefield.

    Our team will be available to answer your questions and explain how to access regular updates about the borefield and our comprehensive environmental monitoring and
    assessment plan.

    Drop by at any time during these sessions:

    Wednesday 27 November, 9 am to 12 pm
    Outside IGA Anglesea supermarket, 87-89 Great Ocean Road
    Tuesday 3 December, 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm
    Outside IGA Anglesea supermarket, 87-89 Great Ocean Road
    Sunday 12 January, 10 am to 1 pm
    Anglesea Riverbank Market

    For more information please contact Kate Manning:
    Phone: 1300 656 007


  • Monitoring and Assessment Program

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    Under the bulk entitlement for the Anglesea borefield, Barwon Water has established a comprehensive Monitoring and Assessment Program (MAP) that has been independently reviewed by independent experts and approved by the Minister for Water.

    The objective of the MAP is to protect environmental values and the health of groundwater dependent ecosystems, whilst also continuing to collect data to build our understanding of the long-term sustainability of groundwater resources in the Anglesea area.

    The MAP was originally established in 2009 to address data gaps identified in the 2008 initial project impact assessment. In 2013, Barwon Water undertook a review of the bulk entitlement and MAP. This work was reviewed and endorsed by an independent Technical Advisory Panel and ultimately approved by the Minister for Water in 2014.

    What has changed?
    The review of the bulk entitlement and MAP conducted in 2013 (approved by the Minister in 2014) indicated that the areas most at risk of impact from operation of the Anglesea borefield were the Anglesea Swampland – rather than the Upper Anglesea River – and Upper Salt Creek catchments.
    This resulted in additional monitoring being established in those areas to help ensure they are not impacted from operation of the Anglesea borefield.

    When is the next review?
    A review of the bulk entitlement and MAP is conducted at five yearly intervals from the date that groundwater extraction recommences. Based on Barwon Water activating the borefield this year (2019), the next review will be due to the Minister for Water in 2024.
    The review is to inform the Minister about:
    • the long term sustainability of groundwater resources in the area
    • protecting the environmental values and health of groundwater dependent ecosystems
    • improving resource management arrangements under the bulk entitlement.

    Learn more

    • View the information posters in the Document Library on the right hand side of this page
  • Groundwater quality monitoring

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    A focus of Barwon Water’s groundwater quality monitoring program is to assess movement of water between the different aquifers in Anglesea and the potential for saline intrusion given the proximity to the coast.

    Of the 42 observation bores in our Monitoring and Assessment Program (MAP), 17 focus on monitoring groundwater quality for salinity, temperature and pH on a monthly basis. Twice a year, we conduct additional laboratory sampling, which also includes major Cations, Anions and Bromide.
    On a weekly basis, we also monitor the operating production bores for groundwater quality.

    Learn more

  • Aquatic ecology monitoring

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    We undertake aquatic ecology monitoring to gather baseline data to better understand the health of groundwater dependent ecosystems and ensure operation of the Anglesea borefield does not have a detrimental impact on these areas.

    Learn more



  • Terrestrial ecology monitoring: Vegetation and frogs

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    Terrestrial ecology monitoring consists of vegetation and frog surveys. We capture information over time to develop a baseline data set, which is used to assess changes over time and identify if pumping from the Anglesea borefield is contributing to these changes.

    Learn more


  • Acid sulfate investigations

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    The 2013 review of the Monitoring and Assessment Program (MAP) identified the need for further understanding of acid generation within the Anglesea catchment. This includes risk of exacerbating existing issues through groundwater pumping from the Anglesea borefield.

    In 2017, Barwon Water engaged Dr. Vanessa Wong from Monash University to conduct a study to investigate the distribution and characterisation of acid sulfate soils (ASS) across the Anglesea catchment.

    Learn more