Victoria's busiest snow resort says its long-term future has been secured ... Mountaintop dam to lock-in future of skiing at Mt Buller. the Andrews government's $103 million regional tourism infrastructure fund. the age Victoria’s busiest snow resort, Mt Buller, says its long-term future has been secured after it received a $7.5 million grant to build a 100-megalitre dam on the mountaintop. The resort plans to use the dam for snowmaking, drinking water and firefighting and says it is critical to its plans to remain in business as climate change makes natural snowfall increasingly unpredictable. The 100-megalitre water storage site has the capacity of 40 Olympic swimming pools and will double the resort’s snowmaking capacity. The project still requires planning approval from the federal government, which is assessing its impact on several vulnerable species including the mountain pygmy possum, the smoky mouse, blue-tongued orchid and alpine tree frog. The federal environment department has already said the water storage project is to have a minimum 200-metre buffer from mountain pygmy possum habitat and avoid all impact on alpine bogs. A contract to complete detailed design and construction will be tendered later this year, Mt Buller said. The water storage facility is expected to be built during the 2019-2020 summer and provide water for Mt Buller from the 2020–2021 summer. “An adequate supply of water is critical for Buller to grow during summer and will double the amount of storage for snowmaking during winter," Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Resorts chief executive Mark Bennetts said. Mt Buller already has chronic water shortages and has run out of water for snowmaking purposes in four of the past five snow seasons. To replenish supplies it has regularly been forced to breach the conditions of its water extraction licence and draw water from Boggy Creek in summer, placing environmental stress on other rivers in Victoria’s high country. The planned dam will also provide water for summer visitors, whose numbers have been growing by 16 per cent a year. The dam will give Mt Buller greater firefighting capacity, including a place for firefighting helicopters to fill up. Buller Ski Lifts general manager Laurie Blampied said the grant meant the company could now confidently plan to make more snow across more areas in the resort. “We’ve wanted to grow our snowmaking areas so skiers and boarders can enjoy a more reliable cover on more ski runs,” Mr Blampied said. The $7.5 million grant comes from the Andrews government’s $103 million regional tourism infrastructure fund. Tourism Minister John Eren said the project would be a game-changer for Victoria’s alpine resorts, which received a record 941,000 visits in the 2017 snow season. The water storage facility is expected to be built during the 2019-2020 summer and provide water for Mt Buller from the 2020–2021 summer.