Editor Nathan Johnston
WE LIVE in the wettest part of the state, yet we have barely enough water to get by during a slightly dryer than average year, let alone enough to encourage investment from existing and new industries.
The Bureau of Meteorology is expecting another visit from our old Mexican mate El Nino, so if our reservoirs aren’t full by September, we’ll need buckets in the shower again to water our tomatoes in February.
South Gippsland Water has previously ignored a proposal from local construction and drilling expert John Anthony to dig the silt out of its Korumburra reservoirs which could double the capacity of the town’s supply.
In most years these little reservoirs overflow for four months, then dry up in summer to the point where water must be pumped from the Tarwin River, if there’s anything in it.
South Gippsland Water’s answer to the problem is to connect Korumburra, Nyora, Loch and Poowong to Wonthaggi’s Lance Creek Reservoir (Northern Towns Project). If the Lance Creek Reservoir runs dry, it can be filled with the connection to Melbourne Water’s supply via the desalination plant.
The project needs $22 million from the State Government for the pipes and other infrastructure, but that’s not going to happen – not this year, at least.
It means another summer of frustration for Korumburra customers, including the town’s biggest user, Burra Foods which cannot expand until more water becomes available.
But should it ever have reached this point?
Decades of inaction are now hurting this region due to a lack of water security which is curtailing investment.
We could also be forced to pay directly if we too become Melbourne Water customers who cop ridiculous bills to cover the desal plant.