Web_J133613CANDOWIE Reservoir’s $9.2 million upgrade, which has doubled its capacity, was officially opened on Friday morning. Candowie’s wall was raised by five metres while the spillway and outlet tower were both improved. The Grantville Glen-Alvie Road, which borders the Almurta catchment, was also raised to allow for additional capacity.  Following the upgrade works, storage capacity has nearly doubled from 2263ML to 4463ML.

Representing water minister Peter Walsh, Bass MP Ken Smith led the formalities and said the capacity increase is essential to secure a reliable and affordable water supply for future generations.  “Raising the wall of Candowie is an economical and efficient way to further drought-proof the Westernport Water community,” Mr Smith said.  “Upgrading Candowie is essential for Westernport Water to capture and store the many rain events, and optimise the use of all locally available water sources. “Development of sustainable infrastructure like Candowie is important for the region’s growth and is fundamental to build resilience in the face of climate variability.  “A larger reservoir will provide the community with peace of mind, reduce the chance of future water restrictions and offer improved flood protection for downstream communities in the Bass area.”

Staff of Westernport Water, local and neighbouring landowners, project managers and constructors attended the event along with numerous other guests overlooking the reservoir. Chairman of Westernport Water, Trevor Nink said Candowie remained fully operational during construction and works were completed when the reservoir was naturally at its lowest.  “Key components of this upgrade were completed within nine months, as planned, to enable maximum storage recharge with the regular winter and spring rains,” Mr Nink said.  “Water levels have already filled above the old full supply level, and the community should note that the water levels that appear in the papers and are displayed in front of Westernport Water’s office on the main tourist road will be reflective of the new storage capacity.”

The upgrade is expected to serve the area for the next 40 years.  A planting project will see 50,000 tress planted around Candowie to help naturally filter the water coming off adjacent farmland.  “Currently Landcare is working on restoring native vegetation surrounding the reservoir to further improve water quality inflows and help safeguard our water supply,” Mr Nink said.  Students from the Bass Valley and San Remo primary schools did their bit to help the project last week, planting 2000 of the trees.