Following above-average rainfall and three consecutive La Niña events, Melbourne’s water supply for the year ahead is secure – with water storage levels currently above 91 per cent.
Welcoming the news, Minister for Water, Harriet Shing said this meant there was no requirement for a desalination order this year.
“The decision follows consultation with retail water corporations Greater Western Water, South East Water and Yarra Valley Water – and will ensure households don’t face additional charges on their water bills in 2023-24,” Ms Shing said.
“The Victorian Desalination Plant is critical to managing Victoria’s water supply amid a changing climate and a future of volatile weather, hotter temperatures and more severe droughts – giving the State’s communities, farmers, industry and tourism confidence in our future water supply,” she said.
“The plant provides a scalable approach to supplement Greater Melbourne’s water supplies and storage to avoid severe water restrictions and better withstand dry years, drought and fires – and meet the needs of a growing population.”
Ms Shing said demand for the State’s rainfall-dependent water sources already outstripped supply.
She said Melburnians currently used 50 to 70 gigalitres more water each year than what flowed into Victoria’s storages, and the desalination plant had supplied around 25 per cent of storage capacity since 2016.
“Without regular desalination orders, Victoria would not be able to meet the growth in demand,” the Minister for Water said.