Water for Our Future takes community workshops online
June 18, 2020
Members of the community have a unique chance to shape the way water is managed in the future with Barwon Water hosting a series of online workshops in June.
The workshops are part of Barwon Water’s Water for our Future program, which was launched last year.
Barwon Water managing director Tracey Slatter said that the forums were a great place for community members to have their say on the region’s water future and to learn about the region’s water and the challenges we face due to a hotter, drier climate.
“While it may seem like we have had a wetter first half of the year, rainfall at West Barwon Reservoir, Greater Geelong’s main rainfall catchment storage, has in fact been below average for each month except April, when 110 mm was recorded.
“This follows on from 2019 when record hot and dry conditions saw water storages drop significantly across our region.
“With a reduction in inflows to most of our major dams of about a third or more over the past 20 years and our region’s population predicted to double over the next 50 years, it’s time to think differently about how we use water and where our water comes from.”
Ms Slatter said that workshops were another opportunity for Barwon Water to hear what water meant to local communities and to ask: “how do we create a water future that balances all our needs?”
“People who share their ideas about water and how they value it will influence what we do.”
The workshops will be independently facilitated, ensuring a lively and energised discussion where all voices are heard.
The first of the three online workshops will be held on 23 June for communities in Geelong and the Bellarine.
Additional online workshops will be held for people in Apollo Bay on 24 June and for those in Colac on 25 June.
Each location is serviced by different water supply sources but all face the same challenges when it comes to population growth and lower average annual inflows into our reservoirs due to a changing climate.
The workshops will be held using the ZOOM video meeting application. People can join via computer, phone or tablet.
When registering, people can request help in setting up their devices.
Workshop numbers will be capped at 30 due to the online format but anyone interested in attending who misses out can still provide input through the conversation kit on the Water for our Future website.
Those interested in attending any of the community workshops are encouraged to sign up at www.waterfuture.barwonwater.vic.gov.au/communityworkshops.
Earlier in the year, Barwon Water hosted two face-to-face workshops in Torquay and Bannockburn, before having to postpone the Geelong, Apollo Bay and Colac workshops, which were originally scheduled to be held face-to-face in March.
Apollo Bay online community workshop 2
24 June from 6pm - 8pm for the Apollo Bay region