If the world stopped producing greenhouse gas emissions today, the build-up of greenhouse gases we have already released in our atmosphere and oceans means we would continue to experience some changes in our climate. Victoria’s water sector must adapt to these changes, even as emissions reduce, if it is to continue to provide reliable services under an increasingly challenging climate

Research by the Victorian Water and Climate Initiative has shown that Victoria has become warmer and drier, with these trends expected to continue. In addition to more extreme droughts and heatwaves, increases in extreme rainfall are also expected. Adapting to climate change is a priority to ensure the overall health of Victoria’s natural environment and that Victorians can continue to have safe and reliable access to water.

Click the icons below to find out more about how climate change impacts the Victorian water sector and how the water sector is taking action to deliver reliable water services under a changing climate.

A new approach to climate adaptation in Victoria

The Climate Change Act 2017 supports Victoria to better manage climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy. Under the Act, a Climate Change Strategy will be developed every five years.

The Act also requires Adaptation Action Plans to be developed for seven key systems that are either vulnerable to the impacts of climate change or essential to ensure Victoria is prepared. These systems are water, transportation, built environment, natural environment, health and human services, education and training, and primary production. Each system must prepare a legislated plan by October 2021 and focus on state-wide adaptation.

These will also be released every five years and will be guided by the priorities set by a Climate Change Strategy, also released every five years. Although each of the seven systems will deliver a separate Adaptation Action Plan, each system will explore linkages with the others and develop joint actions to address shared adaptation risks.

In addition to state-wide plans for each system, a series of regional adaptation strategies have been prepared. The regional plans focus on the place-based needs of each region across the seven sectors. Altogether, these documents will set a clear approach to climate adaptation across Victoria.

Page last updated: 24/03/23