Sources banner

Water sources

Meeting the community’s future water and wastewater needs

Featuring our water sources and water security projects this video explains Westernport Water’s holistic approach to water management.

Candowie Reservoir

Candowie catchment is a sub catchment of the Bass Catchment. It is approximately 1,900 hectares with an estimated 25km of waterline. An open catchment comprising predominantly of privately owned farmland, Westernport Water does not have control or management over the land within the catchment. Tennent Creek is the main tributary that feeds Candowie along with a minor tributary Tozar Creek, which enters Tennent Creek prior to entering the reservoir.

Candowie Reservoir was first commissioned in 1964 with a capacity of 1,130 ML. It was then raised 1.68 meters in 1978 to a capacity of 1,737 ML, and raised a further 0.80 meters in 1982 to a capacity of 2,264 ML. Additionally, in 2013 the reservoir full supply level was raised a further 3 meters, doubling the storage capacity to 4,464 ML.

You can review our Water storage levels in Candowie.

Interested in history? In this article we explore the water supply evolution (190 KB)

Candowie reservoir evolution

To augment supplies additional water can also be obtained from the following sources:

Bass River

Westernport Water completed extensive environmental studies and flow studies on the Bass River to assist in determining a share of flow which will ensure environmental needs and the needs of irrigators and farms on the river are maintained. A bulk entitlement for the Bass River was issued by the Minister for Water to Westernport Water in August 2009. This allows Westernport Water to pump water from May to November at a rate up to 25 ML per day from the Bass River (if required) provided that an environmental flow exceeding 40 ML remains in the river at all times.

Melbourne Water Supply System

As a further security measure and protection from climate variability, Westernport Water has access to 1,000 ML of water annually via a bulk entitlement on the Greater Yarra System – Thompson River Pool (known as the Melbourne Water Supply System). Westernport Water will be testing its connection to the Melbourne Water Supply System accessing water for up to four months, during the period from mid December 2019 to April 2020. The Melbourne Water Supply System is a valuable source of water that we can choose to access when we need it most and may consist of water from a number of reservoirs and catchments across the state, as well as desalinated water.


Westernport Water has access to water from the Corinella Aquifer, which is obtained via three groundwater bores and a pipeline connected to Candowie Reservoir. It may access up to 490 ML of water from this supply source to supplement urban water supplies, in accordance with its Urban Water Strategy.  The groundwater licence is granted until 30 June 2031.  This source will only be used during low rainfall periods after other sources of water have been fully utilised.

PFAS and drinking water

Westernport Water acknowledges customer concerns and interest in PFAS. All water corporations are required to manage drinking water quality in accordance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council. The Guidelines set out key principles and practices underpinned by available scientific evidence to manage threats to drinking water safety.

Customers can be reassured that their drinking water is safe and compliant with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and current national best practice guidance.

Seeking more information about PFAS and your drinking water supply?