VIC – Westernport Water – Candowie Reservoir Upgrade Project – The Story So Far

Authors: Geoffrey Allum – Senior Engineer Development, Chaminda Jayasena – Senior Project Manager.


Westernport Water (WPW) is one of 19 water corporations in Victoria. Located within the Bass Coast Shire, some 100km southeast of Melbourne on the Eastern side of Western Port. Our region of operations covers 300 square kilometres, servicing a customer base of 17,300 which swells to peak population of over 100,000 during major events, and summer peak holiday periods.

The Candowie Reservoir is the sole water storage for our region. Built in 1963 and with a capacity of 2,263ML the supply vulnerability of the annual fill/empty cycle was exposed in 2006/2007. During a two-year drought period the reservoir capacity fell to 7% and Stage 4 water restrictions were imposed.

The Candowie Upgrade Project (CUP) was the key component in Westernport Water’s Water Supply Demand Strategy (WSDS). The WSDS provides the planning framework for the reliable supply of water through to 2055.

The CUP involved embankment and other associated infrastructure works to raise the Full Supply Level (FSL) of Candowie Reservoir by three metres, doubling the water storage capacity to 4,463ML. The preferred design option to upgrade the existing reservoir maximised the opportunity to collect and store the most economic water from locally available sources.

After a rigorous multi-year review process the business case for the CUP was approved in March 2012. The construction phase of the project commenced in September 2012 and is on schedule to be completed by the end of June 2013.

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