Where does Darwin's water come from?
Have you ever thought about where your water comes from?
You just turn on your tap or irrigation sprinkler and it is there, but do you know where the water begins its journey?
Around 85 per cent comes from the Darwin River Dam, about 50km south of Darwin. The remaining 15 per cent comes from the McMinns and Howard East borefields near Howard Springs about 30km to Darwin's south-east.
Water from the dam and the borefield is piped to McMinns Storage and Transfer Station, where it is blended and piped to other elevated and ground level storage tanks in Darwin, Palmerston and the outer Darwin area. From these tanks the water is supplied to your taps.
Our Source to Tap story is shown below;
Our water supply is strongly influenced by climate, especially the timing and variability of rainfall. Not only do we experience the extremes of wet and dry periods each year, but our rainfall varies considerably from year to year. Living without rainfall for up to eight months every year affects the amount of water we use, especially outdoors on our gardens. Climate variability also affects the amount of water flowing into Darwin River Dam catchment area.
Our water supply is affected by Darwin's:
- high average temperatures
- high year-round rates of evaporation (around two-thirds of the dam level drop each year is due to evaporation)
- the length of the monsoonal wet season of four to five months a year
- long rain-free dry season of seven to eight months.