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Melbourne to face water crisis in a decade

Victoria's desalination plant could be boosted to 200 gigalitres a year. Photo: John Gollings

Melbourne's water providers have begun planning for a possible water crisis, as a new report suggests the city could start running out of water within a decade.

Melbourne Water analysed the effect of greater consumption caused by population growth, and the possibility of worsening droughts due to climate change.

It found, at worst, demand could outstrip supply by 2028, with the best case scenario seeing the city facing a water crisis within 50 years. With Melbourne's population expected to double by 2065, the report said the community could expect to see more apartments and smaller blocks.

With Victoria's near-record dry winter has pushed Melbourne's water storage close to the level where the state will start to prepare for drought, which could involve cranking up the multi-billion-dollar desalination plant to its full capacity for the first time.

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