Ballarat population growth: water supply critical

By Kim Quinlan
Updated November 2 2012 - 2:54am, first published April 27 2010 - 1:27pm
BIG PLANS: Yarrowee River. Picture: Jeremy Bannister

WATER supply is critical to meet the demands of a growing population in Ballarat.The City of Ballarat, in conjunction with Federal Storm Water Harvesting and Re-use Grant and the stategovernment, has initiated the development of a majorstorm water harvesting project that will capture onegigalitre a year and provide an additional 190 megalitresa year for irrigation and community assets like publicgardens and sporting reserves.These initiatives will add to the fact that Ballarat isalready connected to the Goldfields Superpipe.Under plans outlined in the council’s Ballarat TodayTomorrow Together document, water initiatives include:● Creation of a large flood detention basin at the lowerreaches of the Yarrowee River;● Construction of a pump station and supply line to the Gong Gong Reservoir;● Construction of an innovative water treatment system at the Gong Gong Reservoir;● Renewable energy infrastructure to offset pumpingenergy requirements.The proposed scheme benefits the health of the Yarrowee/Leigh/Barwon River system by:● Intercepting high flows which are generally contaminated with litter, sediments and nutrients whichwill be removed from the storm system through aseries of processes;● Intercepting high flows which since urban developmenthave caused scouring and erosion;● Retaining reserves in the Gong Gong Reservoir whichcould be released into the Yarrowee River directly ifrequired for environmental flow reasons.The scheme provides an additional 25 gigalitres a year of potable water into the Ballarat supply, which:● Has no carbon emissions or costs associated withpumping;● Will supply 27 per cent of Ballarat’s current water demand;● Is the present volume consumed by 26,600 residentsa year.

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