Our reservoirs are our primary water storage areas for customers in metropolitan Adelaide. They supply you with the water that comes out of your tap. These reservoirs don’t just fill with rain. We can also use them as storage for River Murray water to help meet community demands.
Reservoir inflows are highly variable. For example, more water flowed into the Mount Lofty Ranges reservoirs in July 2016 than during the entire 2015-16 financial year. We received around 7 billion litres more in comparison – that’s a lot of water!
Heavy rainfall in August and September 2016 resulted in huge inflows into our reservoirs. In anticipation, we released water from our Mount Bold Reservoir during this period. Our strategy was to match the amount of water leaving the reservoir to what was coming in as a result of the downpour.
At the beginning of July 2016, Mount Bold was at 53% capacity. All pumping from the River Murray into the reservoir finished in late June 2016. Taking into account usual seasonal forecasts, this ensured a secure level with space available for inflows from rain over upcoming the winter and spring months.
However, from 1 July 2016 to 20 September 2016, we have received about 76 billion litres of inflows into Mount Bold. That is enough to fill Mount Bold from empty 1.6 times!
We also released water from Mount Bold during late July and early August 2016. Water that’s released can be sent to our Happy Valley Reservoir.
With more rainfall in late September 2016, we released water from the reservoir – we wanted it down to around 82% before the rain started. This will ensure an adequate supply of drinking water. We always keep a close eye on our reservoirs! You can too, by checking out our reservoir levels page.
How do we know when to release water?
It’s our job to ensure there’s always water available for you.
We watch over our water resources on a regular basis. This helps us ensure we have a good understanding of our water levels and how much the community needs. With careful management, we’re able to maintain a reliable supply of water for South Australia.
We have people keeping a watchful eye over our reservoirs every day. They love what they do, and are passionate about the reservoirs they look after for you. Maintaining them at an optimal level ensures greater water security.
We will work closely with the Bureau of Meteorology to ensure we use upcoming rainfall and seasonal forecasts. In doing so, it helps us operate our reservoirs as effectively as possible. This also ensures there is enough water for you to use, regardless of the time of year or weather.
Ensuring a safe, reliable supply of water for you is very important to us.