This group of initiatives funds project and policy work aimed at improving Victoria's urban water management.

The Living Victoria and Living Melbourne initiatives were originally established and funded under the previous government's Living Melbourne, Living Victoria policy.  Funding was initially allocated to establishing the Office of Living Victoria (OLV) and implementing projects aimed at embedding generational water cycle reform in Victoria.

The initiatives were refocussed following a change in government and the abolition of the OLV in 2014. Since then, the focus of these initiatives has been on working with water industry partners and key stakeholders on a range of activities to improve urban water management policy and processes, including embedding integrated water management to support resilient and liveable cities and towns.

Total EC3 investment 

Living Victoria
Living Melbourne, Living Victoria
2012-13 expenditure 
$1.0000 m 
2013-14 expenditure 
$7.5005 m 
$3.0000 m 
2014-15 expenditure 
$7.4015 m 
$2.2606 m 
2015-16 expenditure 
$7.2891 m 
$3.4104 m 
2016-17 expenditure$0.5185 m$0.0622 m
Total project investment
$22.7096 m
$9.7332 m


Since its establishment in 2012, this initiative has delivered the following projects:

Establishment of the Office of Living Victoria

The Office of Living Victoria (OLV) was established in 2012, following recommendations of the Living Victoria Ministerial Advisory Council. The purpose of the OLV was to drive the Integrated Water Cycle Management reform agenda described in the previous Government's Living Melbourne, Living Victoria policy. The OLV was abolished in December 2014, with all functions absorbed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning's Water and Catchments Group.

Melbourne's Water Future Strategy

Produced out of the Office of Living Victoria, Melbourne's Water Future Strategy aimed to capture the considerable analysis, investigation and consultation undertaken by the Living Victoria Ministerial Advisory Council and OLV to present 'a new era in water cycle management and planning'.

The Metropolitan Whole-of-Water-Cycle Strategic Framework (Metro Framework) Discussion Paper

This discussion paper was developed as a guidance document for water cycle planners in Melbourne and was released by the former government for public comment on 25 August 2014.

Victorian Water Plan – Water for Victoria

More recently, these initiatives have funded the development of a comprehensive urban water management policy for Victoria's new water plan, Water for Victoria. The final Plan, which was released in October 2016, includes proposed initiatives to improve the resilience and liveability of Victorian cities and towns.

The urban water management policy components of the Plan will ensure :

  • safe, secure and affordable water supplies
  • effective and affordable wastewater systems
  • effective stormwater management protecting our urban environment
  • healthy and valued urban landscapes
  • community values reflected in place based planning

It is proposed that these outcomes will be delivered through priority actions including:

  • diversification of water sources
  • better planning by urban water corporations
  • reinvigorating water efficiency programs
  • getting more from our investment in wastewater
  • improving stormwater management for greener environments and healthier waterways
  • working across government to support healthy urban landscapes
  • representing community values and local opportunities in planning
  • putting integrated water management into practice

Integrated Water Management planning

To ensure water services meet the needs of our growing population, integrated water management has been applied in key opportunity areas of Melbourne and Ballarat, including: Melbourne's north west and Casey-Clyde growth areas; Fisherman's Bend urban renewal location; employment clusters such as Latrobe and Sunshine; and Ballarat and regions.

CRC for Water Sensitive Cities

The EC has funded an annual $0.5m contribution to the establishment and ongoing operation of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Water Sensitive Cities. The CRC has the purpose of delivering, in collaboration with over 70 research, industry and government partners, the socio-technical urban water management solutions, education and training programs, and industry engagement required to make towns and cities more water sensitive. Outputs include establishment of the CRC, engagement of seven small and medium enterprises as associates, development of a number of research programs and establishment of four research hubs across Australia.

Living Ballarat

The objective of the Living Ballarat project was to better integrate planning and service delivery across the water and land use planning sectors for Ballarat. The project delivered a whole of water cycle framework titled Ballarat and region's Water Future, which includes a suite of agreed outcomes and objectives, and approximately 30 implementation actions with clear roles and responsibilities.

As part of implementation, the following has been delivered:

  • 'Greening Ballarat' (a green-blue city action plan, December 2015)
  • 'Greening Ballarat' (400 plantings of broad leaf trees across the city, supported by passive irrigation through drainage modification)
  • a stormwater and urban flood taskforce report, including identification of areas at risk and with potential for urban design intervention
  • a funding agreement with Central Highlands Water to develop an integrated water management plan covering the city of Ballarat service area.

Upper Stony Creek Transformation Project

This projectis transforming 1.2 kilometres of concrete lined drain in Sunshine North into a naturalised waterway and re-vegetated corridor for community amenity and waterway health benefits. EC funds have contributed $2 million to the $12 million project, with the remainder of funds sourced from multiple contributors in the sector.

Government Water Rebates

In 2014, Victoria's urban water corporations participated in an independent review of their operations to identify productivity and efficiency opportunities to deliver reduction in the water bills of customers of Victorian urban water corporations. This review identified more than $1 billion of efficiency savings (both operating and capital expenditure) that were passed on to consumers by urban water corporations through bill reductions. The review also completed a regulatory and governance review that led to a new Water Industry Regulatory Order (WIRO).

Page last updated: 24/05/19