Briagolong water security

We’re looking for a long term alternative for the current water supply in Briagolong.

Last updated: June 2023

Background

We’re looking for a long term alternative for the current water supply in Briagolong. In January 2020 after many years of drought, the Wa De Lock Aquifier (groundwater) which currently supplies the town, became extremely low and water restrictions were briefly introduced.

At that time the community was consulted about introducing the restrictions, and options to address water supply issues in the longer term. The community confirmed a preference to investigate a new, deeper bore targeting a lower aquifer which is the option we have pursued.

In February 2021, we drilled an exploratory bore in the deeper Rosedale Aquifer and pumping and water quality tests were conducted.   

What we're doing

Our assessment has indicated the deeper ground water resource is a viable option and we’ve progressed to the planning phase which currently involves work around modelling of pumping water from the aquifer to assess interference with other groundwater users in the area.

We also continue to take monthly water quality tests as well as monthly assessment of water levels in this aquifer.

Next steps

In the coming months we’ll continue with the modelling work and at the completion of this we hope to commercially acquire a groundwater entitlement to supply the town with this aquifer.

This involves applying to Southern Rural Water (SRW) to construct a production bore and access up to 120 megalitres per year of groundwater for town supply purposes

The new bore could be operational in early 2024 pending SRW approvals and construction works at the water treatment plant that supplies the town.

Water outlook for this summer

Good rains over recent seasons mean the current Wa De Lock aquifer is well stocked. We’re confident it will meet water demand for the town this summer.

The long range forecast overview from the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast drier conditions across much of Australia for August to October 2023 and for Victoria median rainfall is likely as well as above median maximum temperatures and above medium minimum temperatures.

The Bureau are currently (July 2023) predicting an El Niño Alert which typically suppresses winter-spring rainfall in eastern Australia. When El Niño Alert criteria have been met in the past, an El Niño event has developed around 70% of the time.

If you’d like more information on Briagolong's water supply call Jolyon Taylor, Senior Water Resources Engineer, on 1800 050 500.