Victoria is a great place to live, work and visit, but we face two big challenges: climate change and population growth. Water is fundamental to our communities. Victorian cities and towns will be transformed into the most resilient and liveable in the world. This will be achieved by including all elements of the urban water cycle in the way water is planned and managed so that Victorian communities can continue to thrive in all climates.

Victoria is becoming warmer and drier, and is now the fastest growing state in Australia. As climate change continues to take hold, more frequent extreme weather events, such as drought and flooding, can be expected.

Water for Victoria will improve water management to achieve benefits including healthy waterways and greener, cooler urban spaces. The government’s approach to urban water management links all aspects of the water cycle and water services planning, and aligns this with land use planning. Better management will help us achieve benefits more efficiently and contribute to an affordable urban water sector. We will make the most of all water sources, including recycled water and stormwater, which is also essential for water security.

Graph 1 shows the potential future water supply and demand scenario for Melbourne by the year 2050 where water demand increases to 600 gigalitres per year in a high population growth scenario and water supply decreases to around 470 gigalitres per year under a median catchment inflow scenario.   Graph 2 shows the potential mix of water sources to meet Melbourne’s water supply needs by 2050 under a median inflow scenario, including a mix of catchment water, desalinated water, recycled water and stormwater.

To maintain our cities and towns as some of the most resilient and liveable in the world Water for Victoria will reinvigorate water efficiency programs for Melbourne and regional Victoria and put integrated water management into practice by:

  • Using diverse water sources to protect public spaces;
  • Ensuring better urban water planning to address key challenges;
  • Making the most of our investment in wastewater;
  • Improve stormwater management for greener environments and healthier waterways;
  • Working across government for healthy and resilient urban landscapes; and
  • Representing community values and local opportunities in planning.

A collaborative integrated water management approach to planning

Integrated water management is a collaborative approach to the way we plan for and manage all elements of the water cycle. Water corporations, catchment management authorities and local government all play a key role in delivering water related liveability benefits. An integrated water management framework has been created to help government and our delivery partners work together to deliver good community outcomes. Central to the framework are integrated water management forums. These forums will facilitate collaborative place based planning which incorporate community and Traditional Owner values.

Integrated water management servicing strategies are required to support significant population growth in parts of Metropolitan Melbourne. Melton and Wyndham North are expected to be home to 360,000 people over the next 35 years. This is like building a city the size of Canberra in this 33,000 hectare growth area. Western Water is working collaboratively with Melbourne Water, City West Water DELWP and the municipalities of Melton and Wyndham to develop a strategy that uses the best mix of water sources in order to deliver improved liveability waterway health and community well-being.

Projects such as the Upper Stony Creek Transformation are an example of how integrated water management can enable more resilient and liveable cities and towns. The project naturalises a section of concrete drain back to a waterway. The project will achieve multiple social and environmental outcomes including waterway health, amenity, urban cooling and public health benefits.

Delivery partners

Our delivery partners include water corporations, catchment management authorities, local government, other government departments and agencies, Traditional Owners, and the community. By including all elements of the urban water cycle in the way water is planned and managed, and by making decisions locally, we can achieve greater benefits.

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Page last updated: 12/03/19