Snapshot of Australia's water supply

A SNAPSHOT OF AUSTRALIA'S WATER SUPPLY AS OF JANUARY 16 2020:

Percentage full: 44.3pct

Number of storages: 305

Accessible volume: 35,759,646 megalitres (ML)

Accessible capacity: 80,729,430ML

Change since last year: Down 8.6pct

 

STATE BY STATE WATER SUPPLY

ADELAIDE:

*Number of main water storages: 10

*Percentage full: 49.5pct (97,776ML of 197,405ML capacity). Was at 54.4pct in 2019.

*Water restrictions: 'water wise measures' replaced restrictions across the state in 2010.

*Middle River Water Treatment Plant and Reservoir damaged during bushfires at Kangaroo Island, residents being asked to conserve water.

 

BRISBANE:

*Number of main water storages: 12

*Percentage full: 57.1pct (1,218,120ML of 2,134,487ML). Was at 76.1pct.

*Water restrictions: Determined by local councils for majority of the state. In Brisbane, Ipswich, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast water restrictions are not in place but residents are being asked to limit use to 150 litres of water per person per day.

*On the Darling Downs and Granite belt, the water situation is dire with water being trucked into Stanthorpe. Storm King Dam has dropped to just 9.6 per cent of capacity with only 197ML of water left. There has been rainfall in the area but it is nowhere near enough to replenish local water supplies.

*An estimated 1.3ML of water is being carted to the Stanthorpe's 5000 residents daily from a dam 75km away costing $800,000 a month.

*Wivenhoe Dam, 80 kilometres west of Brisbane, is the largest water storage area in south-east Queensland, is currently at 43.7 per cent capacity.

*Seqwater also has access to the Gold Coast desalination plant which turns seawater into drinking water which is returned to the grid, with the output ramping up during drought conditions.

*The desalination plant's maximum output is 133ML of water each day - equivalent to 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

*In Queensland's north, Townsville's Ross River Dam is not at 57 per cent capacity.

*There is no threat of bushfire pollution affecting Queensland's water supply.

 

CANBERRA:

*Number of main water storages: 4

*Percentage full: 46.6pct (129,348ML of 277,839ML). Was at 64.7pct in 2019.

*Water restrictions: Permanent water conservation measures in place since 2010.

DARWIN:

*Number of main water storages: 1

*Percentage full: 53.4pct (159,755ML of 299,409ML). Was at 73.8pct in 2019.

*Water restrictions: No

 

HOBART:

*Number of main water storages: 1

*Percentage full: 69.9pct (2517ML of 3600ML). Was at 94pct in 2019.

*Water restrictions: Stage 1 in greater Hobart region and Bridport, Stage 2 Coles Bay and Stage 3 Scamander.

*Scamander was placed on Stage 3 water restrictions on January 3 following a dramatic drop in the daily flow of the Scamander River, the result of extremely dry conditions in the catchment area. With no rain and a further decline in river flow, TasWater is now transporting water from treatment plants as well as alternative raw water sources.

*There is no threat of bushfire pollution affecting Tasmania's water supply.

 

MELBOURNE:

*Number of main water storages: 10

*Percentage full: 62.5pct (1,132,196ML of 1,812,171ML). Was at 60.5pct in 2019.

*Water restrictions: Permanent water saving rules since 2011.

*Bushfires in East Gippsland have damaged infrastructure, affected water supply and drinking water.

*Residents in Omeo and Buchan were told not to drink tap water for more than a week. As a precaution, East Gippsland Water is asking customers to run the drinking water taps in their house for two minutes before use.

 

PERTH:

*Number of main water storages: 11

*Percentage full: 42.4pct (97,776ML of 197,405ML). Was at 48.6pct in 2019.

*Water restrictions: Permanent water efficiency measures were introduced in 2007, including a watering days roster.

*Water produced by two desalination plants makes up 48pct of Perth's water supply.

*Groundwater and desalinated water are stored in dams during periods of low demand so it is available when it is most needed in the hotter months.

*Bushfires are not affecting WA's water supply.

 

SYDNEY:

*Number of main water storages: 15

*Percentage full: 42.7pct (1,107,989ML of 2,596,050ML). Was at 60.4pct in 2019.

*Water restrictions: Stage 2 for most of the state. Braidwood, near Canberra, is at Stage 4 restrictions.

*Braidwood's water supply has dried up due to low inflows and bushfires in the region. The ACT government and Icon Water will deliver 250kL to 300kL of water per day to the town for up to six months as part of an arrangement with the local council.

*Bushfires have surrounded almost all of the perimeter of the Warragamba Dam, which supplies five million people living in Sydney and the lower Blue Mountains. More than 300,000 hectares of catchment land has been burnt, with containment booms/silt curtains installed to limit the amount of ash near the dam's supply off-take point.

*Fires also came close to dams in Shoalhaven, the Blue Mountains and the Riverina but they were not impacted, WaterNSW says.

*Erosion modelling will be done to determine areas of highest risk and inform further mitigation strategies. Hydrodynamic modelling will also be done to pre-emptively assess ash movement during rainfall events.

 

Source: Bureau of Meterology, Australian Water Association


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