Sustainable water strategies are statutory processes for state-wide water resource planning in Victoria.

Each strategy focuses on one region of Victoria. They are used to manage threats to the supply and quality of water resources to protect environmental, economic, cultural and recreational values. Sustainable water strategies:

  • help entitlement holders manage their own risks
  • identify potential ways to improve waterway health.

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 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.

The Central Region comprises the area south of the Great Dividing Range that includes the West Gippsland, Central Highlands, Barwon, Port Phillip and Westernport regions, and the urban centres of Geelong, Ballarat, Greater Melbourne, Melton, Sunbury, Warragul and Traralgon.

The Central Region Sustainable Water Strategy included a series of actions and augmentations to meet the region's water needs from 2006-2055. The strategy included policy statements and 112 actions for implementation at a regional and local scale.

The Northern Region includes Victoria’s share of the River Murray and the major Victorian tributaries that flow north into it. Major urban centres in the region include Wodonga, Wangaratta, Benalla, Shepparton, Bendigo, Swan Hill and Mildura.

The Northern Region Sustainable Water Strategy includes policy statements and 51 actions for implementation at a regional and local scale.

Full Northern Region Sustainable Water Strategy (PDF, 35.1 MB)

The Western region covers around one-third of Victoria from Colac and Lorne in the south-east to Ouyen in the north-west. Its agricultural and urban centres include Colac, Port Campbell, Horsham, Stawell, Ararat, Hamilton, Warrnambool and Portland.  

The Western Region Sustainable Water Strategy includes policy statements and 68 actions for implementation at a regional and local scale.

The Gippsland region covers the area south of the Great Dividing Range in Victoria from the Latrobe River catchment and Strzelecki Ranges to the New South Wales border in the east.

The Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy includes policy statements and 69 actions for implementation at a regional and local scale.