What are Sustainable Water Strategies?

Sustainable Water Strategies (SWS) are long-term plans developed to secure a sustainable supply of water in Victoria's regions. They are used to identify threats to water availability and water quality, and proposed policies and actions to help water users, water corporations and catchment management authorities (CMAs) manage and respond to those threats.

Central and Gippsland region sustainable water strategy

A new Central and Gippsland Region SWS is being developed. It covers the region south of the Great Dividing Range, from the Otways in the west and across to Mallacoota in the east. To find out more about the Central and Gippsland Region SWS visit the consultation page on Engage Victoria.

Existing sustainable water strategies

There are four regional sustainable water strategies for Victoria

  • Central Region Sustainable Water Strategy - 2006
  • Northern Region Sustainable Water Strategy - 2009
  • Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy - 2011
  • Western Region Sustainable Water Strategy - 2011

The separate Central and Gippsland region strategies will be replaced by the combined Central and Gippsland Sustainable Water Strategy when it is completed.

The strategies identified threats to water availability in each region and proposed policies and actions to help water users, water corporations and catchment management authorities (CMAs) manage and respond to those threats over the next 50 years.

Actions status

300 actions were identified across the four sustainable water strategies. Implementation of actions was largely the responsibility of DELWP, water corporations, catchment management authorities, the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (formerly DEDJTR) and partners and stakeholders.

DELWP completed a stocktake of all actions in 2016. The actions status was further updated as part of the Central Region SWS review, the Western and Gippsland regions SWSs five-yearly assessments and progress reports on the implementation of actions.

Of the 300 actions, approximately 86% are now complete. Of the remaining actions, many have been partly implemented, while others are to be implemented through other policies, particularly through the State’s Water Plan, Water for Victoria, or through implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan. Please visit each SWS tab below for more information about individual action status.

Reviewing sustainable water strategies

The Water Act 1989 requires Sustainable Water Strategies to be reviewed after 10 years. Reviews provide an opportunity to identify if the timelines and targets of the Strategy have been met.

Water for Victoria identified the opportunity to complete five-yearly assessments of Sustainable Water Strategies. The five-yearly assessments help identify any key trends and issues to be taken up in any future review.

The review of the Central Region Sustainable Water Strategy and the five-year assessments of the Western Region and Gippsland Region sustainable water strategies were completed in 2018.

Please visit each SWS tab below for more information about the review and assessments and to download the reports.

Next steps

The four regional sustainable water strategies are current and remain current until future strategies are developed in the regions. Annual monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the SWSs actions will continue.

DELWP is preparing a new Central and Gippsland region SWS. For more information and to join the conversation, visit the consultation page on Engage Victoria.

The strategies

Contact us

Do you have questions or want to learn more about the project? Please contact us below:

Sustainable Water Strategy team
sws.team@delwp.vic.gov.au

Page last updated: 08/10/21