Selected quotes from Ballarat and region’s water future - Author: State Government of Victoria

"The Moorabool and Yarrowee/
Leigh Rivers are highly stressed. Extractions
of fresh water from both these rivers are overallocated
and their locations mean that their
management is split between several agencies
and organisations. One of the desired outcomes
from this framework is to build upon the existing
and positive partnerships between agencies
and organisations, to help decrease the region’s
reliance on these systems through increased use
of alternative water sources wherever possible."

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As Figure 4 shows, the mains tap water supplyFigure 4_BRW
for the Ballarat district is largely sourced from
the Moorabool River system. During the last
drought the Moorabool ceased to flow and
the water level in the reservoirs dropped
significantly. In 2007, the water supply system
was augmented with groundwater and severe
water restrictions were implemented to reduce
demand until the completion of the Goldfields
Superpipe enabled water to be imported from
the Goulburn and Campaspe River systems.
Once the drought ended and the reservoirs were
sufficiently refilled, the Moorabool River system
returned to being the primary mains tap water
supply for the Ballarat region.
Figure 4 also demonstrates how water
consumption gradually declined before remaining
relatively steady over the past three years.
It is interesting to note that the volume of urban
stormwater run-off is significant, even in drier
years. Depending on cost and practicality this
could provide a viable alternative water source
and support a move towards fewer extractions
from the Moorabool River."

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"Waterway health is a critical issue as the
Ballarat region’s water supply is largely
sourced from extractions from the Moorabool
River system. Waterways throughout the
region are subject to increasing cumulative
impacts, including loads of contaminants
and diminishing fresh water flows."

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"The Living Ballarat Project identified a significant stormwater
resource opportunity for the Ballarat region. Making better
use of this stormwater resource could reduce the need for
extractions from the region’s natural streams and waterways,
leading to increased self-sufficiency for the region and improved
waterway health."

"Reduce the need for extractions from
the Moorabool system and reduce the
impacts of stormwater run-off into local
waterways, particularly the Yarrowee/Leigh
and Burrumbeet systems;"

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"Groundwater and aquifers increase
the resilience of the water system
Groundwater can provide a useful alternative to
mains drinking water supplies being extracted from
the Moorabool River system, particularly during dry
years. The quality of groundwater varies across the
region, however Central Highlands Water already
uses groundwater from deeper aquifers in several
areas as part of its drinking water supply system."

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Ballarat and Regions Water Future 250