News | 11th Jul, 2010

Water, water, but where has it gone?

Sunday, 11 July 2010
The Age, Elizabeth Gallagher 

Melbourne's water storage levels have edged above the one-third-full mark after the wettest June in nine years, but experts warn the rise will do little to ease Victoria's water shortage woes.

Despite 33 billion litres flowing into the state's reservoirs last month after 99.1 millimetres of rain, the overall storage level was sitting at 34.7 per cent yesterday.

This was one percentage point higher than at June 30, when the level was 33.7 per cent (610,386 megalitres). This means almost 18 billion litres of water have flowed into reservoirs in the past 10 days.

In the city, 59 millimetres of rain fell last month.

But experts say it will take more than a decade of good rainfall to fill the state's catchments.

Melbourne Water's manager of water supply, John Woodland, said the amount of water flowing into dams after rainfall depended on how wet the soil was in the catchments.

''A few months of good rainfall does not make up for 13 years of drought. Storages are still only a little over a third full, so there's a long way to go,'' Mr Woodland said.

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