Sustainable Water Strategies are long-term plans for water resources across Victoria’s Gippsland, Northern, Western and Central regions.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Sustainable Water Strategies Senior Manager Chris McAuley said this is a landmark strategy that has had an enormous impact on water management in the region.

The Central Region covers Greater Ballarat, Greater Geelong, Inner West, Greater Melbourne, West Gippsland and Westernport, with more than 80 per cent of actions outlined under all strategies now complete.

The Central Region SWS is important to sustainable water management in Victoria, and was established during the Millennium Drought in 2006.

To date 104 of the 112 actions identified in the Central Region SWS have been completed.

The review is not developing a new strategy or new policies. Rather the review report summarises the delivery of the actions within the SWS, documents lessons learnt and outlines issues for consideration in a future SWS or SWS’s incorporating the Central Region.

Minister for Water said community input is vital to the review and will help outline how water management has changed since the strategy’s release and identify lessons learned to inform a new sustainable water strategy process.

Key accomplishments under the Central SWS include:

  • 60 GL of water transferred to the environment across the Central Region,
  • the reduction of water consumption by 30 percent at the height of the drought,
  • significant improvements in water use efficiency which have now become permanent water saving measures, and
  • improved interconnection of water systems increasing options for meeting demand.

The strategy was also among the first in Victoria to recognise indigenous values of water, leading to formalised engagement with Traditional Owner groups in the subsequent Victorian Waterway Management strategy.

To view the review report or contribute go to

Community members are encouraged to contribute to this report as their feedback will be crucial to informing future strategies.

Media contact: Nicci de Ryk 03 9637 8755 | M: 0417 516 907

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