Ballarat water storages: White Swan gets healthy new look

By Emma Brown
Updated November 2 2012 - 2:14am, first published January 21 2010 - 1:12am
An aerial shot of White Swan Reservoir taken in December, 2009.
An aerial shot of White Swan Reservoir taken in April, 2008.

WHAT A difference 20 months has made to water levels at White Swan reservoir.This photograph, supplied by Central Highlands Water, shows the increasingly replenished reservoir as seen from above.With the exception of special tours, the reservoir has been closed to the public for some time and these pictures show the impact of the Goldfields Superpipe since the flow of water began in May 2008. The pipeline links Ballarat to the Goulburn River system via Sandhurst Reservoir in Bendigo, and is capable of sending 300 megalitres of water to Ballarat each week.In the latest picture taken in December, the reservoir is at 81.3 per cent capacity, a far cry from April 2008 when the level was dwindling at 7.8 per cent.This week the reservoir is at 84.1 per cent capacity.CHW acting chief executive officer, Paul O'Donohue, said replenishment of White Swan and other local reservoirs has come about from the Goldfields Superpipe, local inflows and responsible water usage.Mr O'Donohue worked as a project director on the Goldfields Superpipe and was involved in the initial concept phase, design and delivery of the project.For now CHW is continuing to analyse water usage data to see what more relaxed water restrictions will mean for Ballarat."The expectation is there will continue to be substantial water saving even though restrictions have been relaxed," Mr O'Donohue said.He has been pleased with the how the superpipe had performed in its first 20 months."I think we expected it to deliver 10,000ML in the first year and we received about 12.4ML."We now have a diverse range of water supply options. "The Goldfields Superpipe has helped us to supply water security by diversity," he said.

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