Victoria’s climate is changing, and this poses many challenges for the water sector as well as Victoria’s businesses, industries and communities that rely on water.

Our water resources are largely climate dependent, so planning for climate change is extremely important for Victorian water resource management. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that Victoria will be hotter and drier in the future and this has clear implications for Victoria's water security. Climate change also impacts how we assess and understand our water resource availability right now and moving forward.

This 2020 edition of the Guidelines for Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Water Availability in Victoria (PDF, 8.3 MB) (accessible version (DOCX, 8.7 MB)) builds on the previous edition published in 2016 and has been completed to inform the next round of urban water strategies. The update is a response to Action 2.3 of Water for Victoria that requires DELWP to lead climate change adaptation across Victoria’s water systems.

The document covers temperature, potential evapotranspiration, rainfall, runoff and groundwater recharge, which are all used across Victoria when assessing the impact of climate change on water availability. The guidelines also include information on changes to climate variability associated with climate change.

The guidelines have been updated to reflect:

  • Lessons learnt from previous application of the guidelines.
  • New research findings, including those from the Victorian Water and Climate Initiative.
  • New or updated legislation and water policy.

This update ensures that the guidelines remain user-focused, incorporate the best available science and reflect the current context for water management in Victoria.

Benefits of the guidelines include:

  • Providing tailored guidance on how to apply the climate science.
  • Promoting a consistent approach to climate change impact assessment for water supplies.
  • Enabling more efficient climate change impact assessments.


Page last updated: 12/08/22