Barwon Downs borefield licence renewal

The Barwon Downs borefield is located in the foothills of the Otway Ranges approximately 70 kilometres south west of Geelong and 30 kilometres south east of Colac.

The borefield has been a crucial supply source for Geelong, the Surf Coast, Bellarine Peninsula and parts of Golden Plains Shire during prolonged dry periods.

At the height of the worst drought on record (2006 to 2010), Geelong’s water storages dropped to 14 per cent. During this time, the Geelong water supply system relied on the borefield to provide water.

Although operated infrequently, large amounts of groundwater was drawn when needed. Intermittent pumping has been an effective way to provide customers with water security and also allows time for the aquifer to replenish when not in use.

The Barwon Downs borefield is operated under licence from Southern Rural Water. This licence was granted in 2004 and is due for renewal in June, 2019.

Status of licence application

In December 2018, we submitted a groundwater licence renewal application for the Barwon Downs borefield to Southern Rural Water. The application is made in accordance with section 58 of the Water Act 1989.

On March 14, 2019, Barwon Water announced it would withdraw its licence renewal application for the Barwon Downs borefield until remediation of the historical impacts of groundwater pumping is complete.

Chair Jo Plummer said Barwon Water remained committed to ensuring water security, protecting the environment and keeping prices low.

Read: Barwon Water withdraws Barwon Downs borefield groundwater application

The Barwon Downs borefield is located in the foothills of the Otway Ranges approximately 70 kilometres south west of Geelong and 30 kilometres south east of Colac.

The borefield has been a crucial supply source for Geelong, the Surf Coast, Bellarine Peninsula and parts of Golden Plains Shire during prolonged dry periods.

At the height of the worst drought on record (2006 to 2010), Geelong’s water storages dropped to 14 per cent. During this time, the Geelong water supply system relied on the borefield to provide water.

Although operated infrequently, large amounts of groundwater was drawn when needed. Intermittent pumping has been an effective way to provide customers with water security and also allows time for the aquifer to replenish when not in use.

The Barwon Downs borefield is operated under licence from Southern Rural Water. This licence was granted in 2004 and is due for renewal in June, 2019.

Status of licence application

In December 2018, we submitted a groundwater licence renewal application for the Barwon Downs borefield to Southern Rural Water. The application is made in accordance with section 58 of the Water Act 1989.

On March 14, 2019, Barwon Water announced it would withdraw its licence renewal application for the Barwon Downs borefield until remediation of the historical impacts of groundwater pumping is complete.

Chair Jo Plummer said Barwon Water remained committed to ensuring water security, protecting the environment and keeping prices low.

Read: Barwon Water withdraws Barwon Downs borefield groundwater application

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