Water Resource Plans for Victoria
The Murray-Darling Basin Plan includes a requirement that by June 2019 Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory will have prepared Water Resource Plans across all regions within the Murray-Darling Basin.
To meet our obligations, Victoria is working on two plans across its five Water Resource Plan areas.
Wimmera-Mallee Water Resource Plan
- Wimmera-Mallee surface water
- Wimmera-Mallee groundwater
Northern Victoria Water Resource Plan
- Victorian Murray surface water
- Northern Victoria surface water
- Goulburn Murray groundwater
The plans will show how Victoria will comply with sustainable diversion limits on the volume of surface water and groundwater that can be taken and used in catchments from 1 July 2019. They also consider:
- environmental watering
- risks from climate change and drought
- how medium or high risks to water availability and quality will be managed
- values and uses for Aboriginal water.
The process includes reviewing our current measures, commitments and strategies already in place under Victorian legislation to determine whether we need to make improvements or changes to meet obligations under the Basin Plan.
Victoria's water resource plans are developed in partnership with water corporations and catchment management authorities and in consultation with environmental managers, Traditional Owners, industry bodies, local government and Basin communities. The Murray-Darling Basin Authority will assess Victoria's water resource plans before they are accredited by the Commonwealth Minister for Water.
Victoria maintains a robust regulatory framework that includes bulk water and environmental entitlements, groundwater management plans, Sustainable Water Strategies and other water planning instruments.
Victoria has closely examined the requirements of the Basin Plan Water Resource Plans in our preparation to develop these plans in consultation with communities and stakeholders.
Our detailed assessment of our existing water management framework shows that we already meet the majority of requirements and are on target to deliver the remaining via accredited water resource plans by 30 June 2019.
With the Wimmera-Mallee Water Resource Plan almost complete, Victoria is focusing on the Northern Victoria Water Resource Plan. This includes reviewing the measures, commitments and strategies already in place under Victorian legislation.
Public consultation and stakeholder engagement will be central to the development of this water resource plan, which covers:
- river systems connected to the Murray, the Mitta Mitta, Kiewa, Ovens, Goulburn, Broken, Campaspe and Loddon rivers
- floodplain wetlands, such as Hattah Lakes, Lindsay Island and Barmah National Park, and the connected wetlands in the Loddon, Goulburn and Ovens catchments
- all groundwater in the Northern Victoria area
- the Sunraysia and Goulburn Murray irrigation districts. The Victorian Government is seeking community input and feedback to inform the Northern Victoria Water Resource Plan.
The draft Northern Victoria Water Resource Plan will document how we are meeting our Basin Plan requirements for the region, including an explanation of the region’s water resources, and our existing water management framework.
Following extensive consultation, Victoria is finalising the Wimmera-Mallee Water Resource Plan for submission to the Commonwealth.
You can download a copy of the Draft Wimmera-Mallee Water Resource Plan Summary Report.
If you would like to know more about how we consulted with Basin communities on the development of this plan, please see Chapter one of the Draft Wimmera-Mallee Water Resource Plan: Comprehensive Report.
Victoria is committed to developing its Water Resource Plans in partnership with water corporations and catchment management authorities and in consultation with environmental managers, Traditional Owners, industry bodies, local government and Basin communities.
We have looked closely at the Basin Plan water resource plan requirements. In most instances, our risk assessments indicate that we are meeting our obligations through existing arrangements.
If consultation with stakeholders in Northern Victoria supports this confidence, the water resource plan will mostly explain current water laws and management tools rather than introduce any changes.
Details about community consultation sessions and a timeline for submissions will be made available at www.engage.vic.gov.au.