Something in the water: Melbourne simultaneously crowned Ketamine and tap water capital of Australia

Within days, Melbourne was crowned as both the Ketamine capital of Australia, and the city with the country’s finest tap water. 

The city’s top spot in Ketamine consumption was revealed by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission over the weekend. The agency sourced the results by testing wastewater across the country, specifically looking for traces of the drug via sewage samples of Australians’ excrement. The findings revealed Victoria as home to the most Ketamine users in the country, particularly in rural areas.

While Melbourne assumed the Ketamine crown for the time being, the ACIC study also identified a large proportion of users in almost every other major city, particularly in New South Wales, Northern Territory, Tasmania and Queensland. The wastewater test placed Victoria second in the country in terms of cocaine consumption, with NSW consuming more of that drug per capita than any other state. 

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Speaking of the drug detection methods, ACIC CEO Michael Phelan said the wastewater testing allows an “understanding [of] drug consumption at a population level [and] supports effective allocation of resources to priority areas. It also allows the progress of demand, supply and harm reduction strategies to be monitored [and has] the benefits of longitudinal analysis of drug trends.” 

While it remains somewhat of a worrying trend for the city, Melbournians appear to be counteracting their Ketamine consumption with award-winning tap water. Over the weekend, the city took the top spot for the country’s cleanest, clearest and tastiest tap water, as part of a nationwide Best Tasting Tap Water competition held in NSW on Sunday (November 12). The contest was determined by a panel of blind taste testers, who judged the water’s colour, clarity, odour and taste. 

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The honour was bestowed upon the Cresswell Water Treatment Plant, which is operated by Melbourne Water. The catchment is responsible for quenching 4.2 million Melbournians, and — as the city’s drug consumption suggests — alleviating just as many Ketamine hangovers. So, congratulations are in order for Melbourne, who’ve understood that particularly trippy partying should only be undone by the finest waters in town.