Welcome to "Water you know"

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This is a space for learning more about where your water comes from, how it gets to you and what happens after you’ve used it


Welcome!


Would you like to learn more about water?

Well, wateryouknow (get it, what do you know?) you’ve come to the right place!

Water is important stuff. Take a moment to think about how many times you’ve used water today. Now, imagine if you turned on your tap and it wasn’t there. Yikes! Where would I get water for my morning cuppa? How would I wash my clothes? We’d be smelly bunch without baths or showers!

Barwon Water plays a huge role in the lives of everyone in the region. Water is essential. But, did you know, less than 1% of the water on earth is fresh water suitable for drinking?

So, it makes sense that we think carefully about how we use it and make sure it’s never wasted.

Scroll down to read more about where your water comes from!



Where does your water come from?

Ahh, the tap? Yes, right you are. But how does it get into your tap? Where does it begin its journey to you?

The short answer is we get our water from the environment. Rivers, creeks and, sometimes, from aquifers underground (this is called groundwater).

For many of our customers, the water has travelled approximately 100 kilometres (and sometimes more!) from its source (a river) through an extensive network of channels, pipes and treatment plants.

Greater Geelong region’s drinking water is supplied by three major surface water sources – the Barwon River, the East Moorabool River and the West Moorabool River.

The Barwon River

Catchments in the Otway Ranges feed the Barwon system, which supplies 80 per cent of water for Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula and Surf Coast. The rest is supplied from catchments north of Geelong that feed the Moorabool system.

Catchments are areas of land where rainfall collects in rivers and streams, or seeps into the soil to become groundwater. We use this naturally collected water for our own needs, storing it in reservoirs.

Depending where you live, you might get water from only the Barwon system or only the Moorabool system. Some customers receive a blend of both at certain times of the year.

Extra water also can be drawn from the Victorian water grid via the Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline (this water comes from catchments east of Melbourne). During dry conditions we can also access water from an underground aquifer in Anglesea.

Supplies for Colac, Gellibrand, Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek and Lorne are drawn from five separate sources, all located in forested catchments of the Otway Ranges. During drought, Colac can receive water from the Geelong supply system.


No matter where you live, each time you turn on the tap more than 40 Barwon Water staff have played a role in bringing you high quality water that is safe to drink.

Understanding that all drinking water is sourced from the environment is a good reminder that water is a precious resource that shouldn’t be wasted.


West Gellibrand Reservoir supplies water to Colac

The water cycle

Did you know there’s no new water? That’s right, the water on earth now is the same water that was around when the dinosaurs were alive and will be the same water that your great, great, great grandchildren use.

Wait, it’s the same water? How can that be?


How the climate impacts our water supplies

Our climate is changing; it is getting hotter and drier. Less rainfall has a direct impact on our region's water supplies.

Fact: Since 1910, Australia’s climate has warmed by 1.4%.

West Barwon Reservoir in the Otways, one of our biggest catchments, has seen a 30% reduction in annual inflows (water that comes into the reservoir) since 1997. This is equal to a third of Greater Geelong region's annual water use.

West Barwon Reservoir

Question: Do we really need more water? Aren’t our reservoirs full?

While it is true we have received good rainfall in 2021 and into 2022 and our storages are looking healthy, we cannot guarantee this will be the case every year into the future.

Climate change will mean less rainfall and more extreme events, such as bushfire, drought, floods and heatwaves, making our environment less predictable. The combined effect will be less water available from traditional, rainfall-dependent sources like rivers and dams and, at the same time, more human and environmental demand for water.

By 2065, it is estimated that streamflows in our region will reduce by up to 45.6% in the Moorabool system, 47.6% in the Barwon system and 41.9% in the Otway Coast systems under a ‘high climate change’ scenario.


We know we need to plan for the future now, which is why we invest in multiple options to maintain our water supply. This range of options helps us deliver high quality and reliable water services for our growing region.

We upgraded the Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline to make sure more water reaches more customers and we continually check and maintain our pipes and pumps to reduce bursts and leaks – avoiding unnecessary disruptions to you and wasted water.

Visit Water for our Future to learn more about how we are planning to secure our water supplies for the next 50 years.

Getting water to your taps

After we have captured water in our reservoirs it is transferred to a water treatment plant.

What happens to the water at the treatment plant?

Coagulation, filtration, disinfection, fluoridation. These are some of the scientific processes that happen at Wurdee Boluc water treatment plant – our largest drinking water treatment facility.

Wurdee Boluc water treatment plant

Fact sheet: Wurdee Boluc Water Treatment Plant

A similar process happens at our smaller water treatment plants, too, before water enters the distribution network.

Pipes, storage tanks, covered basins and pump stations help get the water to homes and businesses.

By the time a glass of clean water arrives at your kitchen tap, it has been on an incredible journey. It is important we remember the time and effort that goes into making water clean and safe to drink and ensure we use each and every drop carefully



This is a space for learning more about where your water comes from, how it gets to you and what happens after you’ve used it


Welcome!


Would you like to learn more about water?

Well, wateryouknow (get it, what do you know?) you’ve come to the right place!

Water is important stuff. Take a moment to think about how many times you’ve used water today. Now, imagine if you turned on your tap and it wasn’t there. Yikes! Where would I get water for my morning cuppa? How would I wash my clothes? We’d be smelly bunch without baths or showers!

Barwon Water plays a huge role in the lives of everyone in the region. Water is essential. But, did you know, less than 1% of the water on earth is fresh water suitable for drinking?

So, it makes sense that we think carefully about how we use it and make sure it’s never wasted.

Scroll down to read more about where your water comes from!



Where does your water come from?

Ahh, the tap? Yes, right you are. But how does it get into your tap? Where does it begin its journey to you?

The short answer is we get our water from the environment. Rivers, creeks and, sometimes, from aquifers underground (this is called groundwater).

For many of our customers, the water has travelled approximately 100 kilometres (and sometimes more!) from its source (a river) through an extensive network of channels, pipes and treatment plants.

Greater Geelong region’s drinking water is supplied by three major surface water sources – the Barwon River, the East Moorabool River and the West Moorabool River.

The Barwon River

Catchments in the Otway Ranges feed the Barwon system, which supplies 80 per cent of water for Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula and Surf Coast. The rest is supplied from catchments north of Geelong that feed the Moorabool system.

Catchments are areas of land where rainfall collects in rivers and streams, or seeps into the soil to become groundwater. We use this naturally collected water for our own needs, storing it in reservoirs.

Depending where you live, you might get water from only the Barwon system or only the Moorabool system. Some customers receive a blend of both at certain times of the year.

Extra water also can be drawn from the Victorian water grid via the Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline (this water comes from catchments east of Melbourne). During dry conditions we can also access water from an underground aquifer in Anglesea.

Supplies for Colac, Gellibrand, Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek and Lorne are drawn from five separate sources, all located in forested catchments of the Otway Ranges. During drought, Colac can receive water from the Geelong supply system.


No matter where you live, each time you turn on the tap more than 40 Barwon Water staff have played a role in bringing you high quality water that is safe to drink.

Understanding that all drinking water is sourced from the environment is a good reminder that water is a precious resource that shouldn’t be wasted.


West Gellibrand Reservoir supplies water to Colac

The water cycle

Did you know there’s no new water? That’s right, the water on earth now is the same water that was around when the dinosaurs were alive and will be the same water that your great, great, great grandchildren use.

Wait, it’s the same water? How can that be?


How the climate impacts our water supplies

Our climate is changing; it is getting hotter and drier. Less rainfall has a direct impact on our region's water supplies.

Fact: Since 1910, Australia’s climate has warmed by 1.4%.

West Barwon Reservoir in the Otways, one of our biggest catchments, has seen a 30% reduction in annual inflows (water that comes into the reservoir) since 1997. This is equal to a third of Greater Geelong region's annual water use.

West Barwon Reservoir

Question: Do we really need more water? Aren’t our reservoirs full?

While it is true we have received good rainfall in 2021 and into 2022 and our storages are looking healthy, we cannot guarantee this will be the case every year into the future.

Climate change will mean less rainfall and more extreme events, such as bushfire, drought, floods and heatwaves, making our environment less predictable. The combined effect will be less water available from traditional, rainfall-dependent sources like rivers and dams and, at the same time, more human and environmental demand for water.

By 2065, it is estimated that streamflows in our region will reduce by up to 45.6% in the Moorabool system, 47.6% in the Barwon system and 41.9% in the Otway Coast systems under a ‘high climate change’ scenario.


We know we need to plan for the future now, which is why we invest in multiple options to maintain our water supply. This range of options helps us deliver high quality and reliable water services for our growing region.

We upgraded the Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline to make sure more water reaches more customers and we continually check and maintain our pipes and pumps to reduce bursts and leaks – avoiding unnecessary disruptions to you and wasted water.

Visit Water for our Future to learn more about how we are planning to secure our water supplies for the next 50 years.

Getting water to your taps

After we have captured water in our reservoirs it is transferred to a water treatment plant.

What happens to the water at the treatment plant?

Coagulation, filtration, disinfection, fluoridation. These are some of the scientific processes that happen at Wurdee Boluc water treatment plant – our largest drinking water treatment facility.

Wurdee Boluc water treatment plant

Fact sheet: Wurdee Boluc Water Treatment Plant

A similar process happens at our smaller water treatment plants, too, before water enters the distribution network.

Pipes, storage tanks, covered basins and pump stations help get the water to homes and businesses.

By the time a glass of clean water arrives at your kitchen tap, it has been on an incredible journey. It is important we remember the time and effort that goes into making water clean and safe to drink and ensure we use each and every drop carefully



  • Thanks for joining us

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Thanks for visiting Water You Know. We hope the info and facts we share on this page are helpful.

    Over the coming weeks and months, we'll follow the journey of water from capturing it, storing it, moving it, treating it and supplying it to taking it away and dealing with it once it’s been used. Oh, and then we treat it and use it again!

    First up is where our water comes from and how we get it to your tap.

    We look forward to taking you on the Barwon Water water journey. Drop us a line in the question box if there's something particular you've always wondered about and we'll do our best to include it in a future post.

Page published: 22 Mar 2022, 09:37 AM