On this page:

Water is central to the health and well-being of all Victorians. It also powers our industries and the economy, underpins our quality of life and supports our natural environment.

However, water is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, climate variability and extreme weather. While our changing population and economy mean, it will become more challenging to balance the economy, environmental, cultural and social values of water.

We need to make sure our water resources can meet the future needs of our economy and changing population.

The purpose of the urban water strategies

Urban Water Strategies (UWS) are the key planning tool in delivering safe and sustainable water for our cities and towns now and into the future. These strategies aim to support resilient and liveable communities while balancing social, environmental and economic costs and benefits across the water cycle.

UWS help us decide what we will need to do over the next 50 years to make sure the water and sewerage services in our cities and towns are prepared for changes in population and our changing climate. The strategies also explain how we will prepare for and manage water during drought.

UWSs further explain how we will deliver global, national, regional and state-wide processes in local areas. This includes policy directions outlined in:

Victoria’s urban water corporations deliver UWS in their service areas under their Statement of Obligations. The strategies are updated every 5 years. Urban Water Strategies were most recently completed in 2022 and will be due for renewal in 2027.

DEECA, on behalf of the Minister for Water, had issued guidelines for the development of UWS and the Melbourne Water System Strategy (MWSS) referred to collectively as Urban Water Strategies.

Guidelines for the development of urban water strategies

Water corporations' urban water strategies

Water corporations released their urban water strategies in 2022 after significant consultation.

Find out more on the final strategies:

Page last updated: 08/09/23