How much groundwater is Barwon Water taking from the borefield?

    Since Barwon Water started operating it last year, the Anglesea borefield has supplied more than 2,100 megalitres of water.

    We are continuing to publish the extraction rates on the Anglesea borefield web page. During May 2020 we extracted 312.5 ML.

    What is involved with switching the borefield to standby mode?

    Initially, we will operate the pumps at reduced rates and/or intermittently to ensure they remain operational and to prevent pumps from seizing. Water will be stored in the settlement basin at the pre-treatment plant, and may need to be transferred to Wurdee Boluc Reservoir if required to reduce water levels in the settlement basin.

    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 to participate in a pump test.

    What is Barwon Water’s role in considering water supply options for the Alcoa Anglesea coal mine?

    We are continuing to be involved in discussions with Alcoa and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) about securing a water source to fill the Alcoa Anglesea coal mine.

    We have explored options to provide Class A recycled water from Black Rock to fill the mine void, and provided these options to stakeholders for consideration in the water supply solution.

    We will continue to meet with Alcoa to stay informed of proposed work, including Alcoa’s proposed groundwater pumping test of the Upper Eastern View Formation aquifer, as outlined in Alcoa’s recent community update and application to Southern Rural Water

    Is there a role for the community in providing oversight over the use of Anglesea borefield and environmental monitoring?

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

    The Anglesea River Working Group is made up of a number of key stakeholders including the representatives from the Anglesea Community Network, ANGAIR and Business and Tourism Anglesea.

    We are also sharing monitoring data and operational updates with Barwon Water’s Environmental Advisory Committee, which includes a range of environmental groups from across our region, and has a role in advising us on local environmental issues and policy.

    Environmental monitoring is ongoing, even if the borefield is not in use.

    Will there be additional costs for customers as a result of operating the borefield?

    There will be no additional cost to Barwon Water customers as a result of operating the Anglesea borefield.

    Current prices are locked in until June 2023, and are approved by the Essential Services Commission – the independent regulator of the water industry.


    What has caused fish death events in the Anglesea River?

    Extended dry periods followed by rainfall events result in a flush of acidic water into the Anglesea River, this has been the cause of fish death events in the river. The frequency of acid and fish death events has increased with the increased frequency of extended dry periods.
    Low pH events have been recorded since 1972 and fish death events were recorded in 2000 and 2007, which is prior to construction of the borefield.
    Issues regarding low flows and pH in the Anglesea River are not linked to operations of the Anglesea borefield.

    How can I get more information about the Anglesea borefield?

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

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

    A series of information sheets on the monitoring is available in the Document Library.

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