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04 July 2024

Rural season to open with 100% allocation 

Coliban Water rural customers will receive a 100% allocation for the coming rural season thanks to a good water resource position. 

Executive General Manager Strategy, Anna Lamont, said when the season opens in late spring, more than 1,300 rural customers will have access to the full allocation of water permitted under the licence for their property.

“This is good news for our rural customers and allows them to plan ahead for their families, businesses, and livelihood. 

“We know they rely on this water during the warmer months to sustain their properties, whether that’s for orchards, vineyards, stock, crops, or for lifestyle,” she said. 

The decision to award a 100% allocation is based on current storage levels.

“We are holding around 52.5 gigalitres of water in our storages on the Coliban River. The Upper Coliban, Lauriston and Malmsbury Reservoirs are currently at 76% of their capacity, and we are also holding 95% of our share of Lake Eppalock,” Ms Lamont explained.

Rural water channel deliveries will start towards the end of October, depending on demand. Rural customers will be sent further information once channel rosters have been finalised. 

Reflecting on the past rural season, Ms Lamont said more than 2,300 megalitres of water was delivered to rural customers during 2023/24.

“This was made up of 1,300 megalitres delivered via our 500-kilometre-long channel system, and more than 1,000 megalitre via pipelines, fulfilling more than 800 individual water orders. 

“Despite an unpredictable season marked by rain, storms, hail, wind, and the subsequent requirement for emergency works, our Rural Services Team was able to keep water flowing for rural customers,” she said.

“Heavy rainfall events on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and through January 2024, saw some areas north of Bendigo receive more than 150 millimetres within a 24-hour period. The resulting floods caused damage and blockages across many of our channels.

“Our focus was to reinstate all channels as quickly as possible to ensure our customers continued to receive water.”

Ms Lamont said work over the coming months will focus on renewing or upgrading sections of the Coliban Main Channel. 

“Specialist local contractors have been carrying out concrete works on a 700-metre section of channel near Sandhurst Reservoir to extend the life of the existing concrete, which is considered a more sustainable approach compared with other options.

“Further work will include the rebuild of 500 metres of channel near Faraday, maintenance projects in Mandurang, the reinstatement of the Ellesmere Channel, desilting of sections of the Emu Valley Channel, the replacement of old customer outlets, and other repairs that can only be carried out in the winter months while the rural system is not operating.”

More information is available here.

Last updated on 04 Jul 2024
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