Variability has always been a feature of Victoria’s climate, and as such the Victorian water sector is well versed in managing changing conditions and continues to improve how it manages climate extremes. As the climate continues to change, the Victorian water sector will need to continue to adapt. Launched in 2018 and delivered as part of Water for Victoria, the Pilot Water Sector Adaptation Action Plan (PDF) outlined 20 unique adaptation actions to further strengthen the sector’s ability to adapt, and ensure climate change is considered in all aspects of water sector decision making. A fact sheet on the pilot plan has also been prepared (download the pilot plan fact sheet (PDF) or Word accessible version (DOCX).

A summary of all 20 pilot actions, their current status and final documents are outlined below.

A regional Victorian Water Grid Stress Test was completed in 2019 for the central south region and the implementation report is helping to inform relevant water sector entities.

A scientific report of rainfall intensities in Victoria under climate change was completed in 2020 and presented at the Victorian floodplain managers forum.

A climate change assessment of IWM Forum Strategic Direction Statements was completed in 2020.

In person training was delivered to over 100 key stakeholders to build capability and capacity in using the Australian Rainfall and Runoff 2016 (ARR 2016).

DELWP has partnered with the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation to complete this action by mid-2021.

A Water Availability and Climate Change Working Group has been established within the water sector to discuss and share information on impacts of climate change on water supply.

Technical reports were prepared in collaboration with the water sector outlining the impacts of climate change on the Victorian sewerage system.

A collaboration site has been developed and will be launched in 2021 for water sector entities to share adaptation information and successful case studies among each other on a single platform.

Principles were developed for embedding climate change considerations in water sector decision making as part of the delivery of action 12. Development of a stand-alone framework is underway and will incorporate these principles.

An implementation plan guiding the implementation of the Plot WSAAP was completed, and DELWP undertook a mid-term review to improve outcomes under the plan. Final evaluation of the pilot plan is expected in 2021 once all actions are completed.

An assessment of the Victorian water sector’s emergency capacity was undertaken in 2020. Results from this assessment will inform future training and capability development.

A methodology was developed in 2019 to identify critical interdependencies between the water sector and other service sectors. This was presented to Victoria’s Water Sector Resilience Network for application within individual water corporations.

A guidance note was prepared in 2020 and distributed to the Victorian water sector outlining elements of a successful adaptation business case and economic assessment techniques that may support these types of business cases.

A guidance note was prepared in 2019 and distributed to the Victorian water sector outlining the scope of their responsibilities in relation to climate change.  Managing Climate Change Risk:

A guidance note has been prepared in 2020 and distributed to the Victorian water sector outlining the methodology, key lessons learned and high-level guidance to assist in conducting cost assessments.

A report was completed in 2020 outlining the science of blue green algae, how blue green algae responds to non-climate and climate stressors as well as best practice prevention, control and mitigation options to minimise their impacts.

Algal management report  (PDF, 5.4 MB)

Word accessible version (DOCX, 10.8 MB)

In collaboration with the water sector, the scope of the guidelines has been finalised to make sure they are valuable to people responsible for planning and managing our sewerage systems. Drafting of the guidelines will commence in 2021.

Water Sector Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan (2021-2026)

DELWP is leading the development of the 2021 Water Sector Adaptation Action Plan, the first to be released under the Climate Change Act 2017 and will sit alongside adaptation action plans for six other critical systems. This plan will continue guiding adaptation across the Victorian water sector until 2026, at which point the plan will be renewed. Under the Act, Water Sector Adaptation Action Plans will continue to be developed and implemented every five years until 2046, providing a long-term plan to climate change adaptation.

A draft of the 2021 Water Sector Adaptation Action Plan will be available for public consultation in mid-2021.

Page last updated: 06/01/21