The Central Region includes greater Melbourne, and the urban centres of Geelong, Ballarat, Sunbury, Bacchus Marsh and parts of West Gippsland.

Download the strategy

Cover and Chapter 1 (PDF, 2.1 MB)

Chapter 2 (PDF, 918.5 KB)

Chapter 3 (PDF, 4.5 MB)

Chapter 4 (PDF, 2.5 MB)

Chapter 5 and Glossary (PDF, 1.5 MB)

Progress Update

Most actions in the Central Region SWS have been implemented. The table below provides information on the current status of each action identified in the strategy.

A review of the Central Region SWS was commenced in late 2016 and will be progressed throughout 2017. This review will be undertaken in accordance with the requirements under the Water Act 1989 and in line with commitments made in Chapter 8 of Water for Victoria.

Action NoSummary Action DescriptionComment Supporting Action StatusAction Status
2.1Engage Aboriginal communities in developing Regional River Health StrategiesThe Department's guidelines for CMAs in the development of the updated regional River Health Strategies included specific direction to CMAs regarding engagement of Traditional Owners and Indigenous communities.  These guidelines were amalgamated into the Victorian Waterway Management Strategy. A number of initiatives were taken to consult with Traditional Owners in the preparation of the Victorian Waterway Management Strategy and Regional Waterway Strategies. These are described in the Strategies.Complete
2.2Establish the environmental water reserve for each river in the Central RegionTable 4.1 of Victorian Water Accounts 2013-14 lists environmental water entitlements, Table 4.7 of the Accounts list local management plan and streamflow management plansComplete
2.3Annual compliance reporting of the environmental water reservesThe Victorian Water Accounts 2006/07 reported the water set aside in the environmental water reserve.The Victorian Water Accounts 2013/14 continue to report water available for the environment.Complete
2.4Issue new entitlements or licences to extract additional water from rivers only if river health is protectedTable 4.1 of Victorian Water Accounts 2013-14 lists environmental water entitlements. New take and use licences may only be issued in accordance with sustainable diversion limits and Victorian winterfill sustainable diversion limits that have been updated. Permissible consumptive volumes have been set by Ministerial Order. See Victorian Water RegisterComplete
2.5Further work on impacts and ways of mitigating impacts of small catchment damsFurther work has been completed.. New and modifications to existing D&S dams in peri-urban areas now require registration ( The Water Bill 2014 proposed further amendments but the then Government did not proceed with the Bill. Action 8.4 in Water for Victoria commits to record and report on all emerging significant uses of water.Complete
2.6Review current operating rules and harvesting rules to improve river health benefitsBulk entitlements were amended to increase management flexibility during the Millennium drought including the Bulk Entitlement (Maribyrnong -Southern Rural Water) Conversion Amendment Order 2010 and the Bulk Entitlement (Werribee System - Irrigation) Conversion Amendment Order 2011. The annual processes followed by the VEWH for preparing seasonal watering plans consider options for improving environmental outcomesComplete
2.7Increase the environmental water reserve by 66,000 ML by 2015Action 3.5 in the Government's new water plan,  Water for Victoria, commits to meeting targets for the Barwon and Thomson Rivers and investigating options for meeting the 2015 environmental water targets for the Moorabool, Werribee and Maribyrnong Rivers with local communities and stakeholders as part of the review of the Central Region Sustainable Water Strategy.  - Please refer to individual progress reports for actions 4.8, 4.17, 4.28, 4.29, 4.39 and 4.47.Water for Victoria
2.8Pilot the Water Swap programA Water Swap program was run in the Macalister Irrigation District by the West Gippsland CMA and the then Department of Sustainability and Environment in 2008-09. There was very little interest in the $2 million program (see Morden, B (2009) Overview of the Water Swap Pilot Program.Complete
2.9Evaluate the effectiveness of stream frontage programs and assess options to accelerate their implementationAither (2015) 10-year evaluation of Environmental Contribution reports that 'Between 2005-06 and 2013-14, it was estimated that EC funding contributed to approximately: 1,400 km of riparian fencing; 1,400 ha of revegetation; 130 stream bed and bank stabilisation structures installed; and 376 conservation agreements covering an area of 1,300 ha. The LSRR program has generally focussed efforts on a single priority waterway in each CMA. Numerous audits of discrete investments have found the projects to have been generally well managed, technically sound and able to demonstrate the outputs achieved.'Complete
2.1Develop environmental drought response plansThis action is implemented through Victoria's environmental watering program. The VEWH requires CMAs to consider these matters when they prepare their seasonal watering proposals - see for example the seasonal watering proposal for the Werribee River.Complete
2.11Approach to manage the potential impacts of climate change on river healthSuperseded, current policy is set out in the Victorian Waterway management Strategy 2013.Complete
2.12Establish environmental water reserves for all areas where groundwater is found in reasonable quality and quantityPermissible consumptive volumes have been determined for groundwater management areas and water supply protection areas are formally determined by the Minister and published in the government gazetted see for example (Gazettes 2009 GG2009S210). A consolidated list of PCVs are found in the Victoria Water Accounts 2013-14 Appendix BComplete
2.13Establish permissible consumptive volumes for each groundwater management areaA consolidated list of PCVs is found in the Victoria Water Accounts 2013-14Appendix B. ThePCV Orderis available from the Victorian Water RegisterComplete
2.14Annual compliance reporting of the use and recharge of aquifersReporting is part of the Victoria Water Accounts see for example Appendix B of Victoria Water Accounts 2013-14. DELWP also reports quarterly on aquifer status: (
2.15Approach to sustainably manage aquifersGroundwater Basins, Groundwater Catchments and the Victorian Aquifer Framework have been introduced into the groundwater management framework ensuring all groundwater resources are under management ( Management for all resources is documents in statutory or local management plans. For example See East Port Phillip Groundwater Catchment Statement SRW 2014 and West Port Phillip Bay Groundwater Catchment Statement SRW, 2013Complete
2.16Identify and develop underutilised groundwater resources and explore aquifer recharge opportunitiesThe extent of underutilisation is identified in the State Water Accounts. Policies have been released to enable the development of managed aquifer recharge schemes ( Private interests and water corporations are exploring opportunities for MAR. For example: East Gippsland Water (
2.17Issue new groundwater entitlements or licences if long term sustainability of aquifers and groundwater dependent ecosystems are protectedSee Action 2.16 above and the Policies for managing take and Use Licences guides  (PCV water order) and Ministerial Guidelines for groundwater licencing and the protection of high value groundwater dependent ecosystems 2015 (Guidelines for Groundwater Licensing and the Protection of High Value Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems)Complete
3.1Water authorities to implement water conservation programs to achieve conservation targets+ Water corporations continue to plan and implement water efficiency programs.  A rebate program targeting both homes and businesses to implement water efficiencies was in place to 30 June 2015. Per capita water use in Melbourne of 160 litres/person/day is already below the 2020 target of 296 litres (see - Water use data)Complete
+ More specifically Aither (2015) 10-year evaluation of the Environmental Contribution reports: 'To encourage the more efficient use of water by households and businesses, EC funding was directed towards rebate schemes and the provision of better information on water usage. The Water Smart Gardens and Homes Rebate Scheme provided an incentive for households to invest in water efficient appliances and home potable substitution systems such as connected rainwater tanks and greywater reuse. The EC provided $15 million in funding during tranche 2 towards this program. During this period nearly 140,000 rebates were provided, resulting in an estimated 1,758 ML per year (ongoing) of reduced potable demand' (at a cost of $8,530 per ML)
3.2Extend the regional Our Water Our Future behavioural change program until 2015Program was extended until discontinued by the previous Victorian Government in February 2011 (see
3.3Extend the metropolitan Our Water Our Future behavioural change program until 2015Program was extended until discontinued by the previous Victorian Government in February 2011 (see Target 155 was reactivated in March 2016 (see
3.4Introduce on-the-spot fines for breaching water restrictions or permanent water saving rulesSee Water Act Amendment (Enforcement and Other Matters) Act 2007. Further reform of compliance regime was considered in the Water Bill 2014 but not pursued by the then governmentComplete
3.5Reform the water component of the 5 star standard for buildings6 star standard adopted by Victorian Building Authority.Complete
3.6Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) schemeWater efficiency labelling scheme is ongoing, it was subject to a second review in 2015 and shown to be effectiveComplete
3.7Trial of smart water metersTrial completed see South East Water Annual Report, 2014-15Complete
3.8Continue to support the Smart Water FundThe Victorian Government continued to support the Smart Water Fund for a decade. Water corporations reviewed the operation of the Smart Water Fund. As a result the Fund will no longer be investing in any new projects and operations will cease in 2017.Complete
3.9Extend the Water Smart Homes and Gardens Rebates scheme for a further four yearsWater efficiency rebates were extended through a scheme that was retargeted in 2015.Complete
3.1Distribute around 160,000 water efficient showerheads over the next three yearsSince 2006 over 550,000 showerheads across Victoria were replaced with water efficient models, mostly in Melbourne (see pg 44 of Department of Sustainability and Environment Annual Report 2011).Complete
3.11Develop a web-based ready-reckoner to assist home-owners in choosing water saving optionsReady-reckoners have been developed. See for example Yarra Valley WaterandSouth East WaterComplete
3.12Continue the Sustainable Water Efficiency Program for schoolsThe Schools Water Efficiency Program was continued until 2015. See page 44 of Department of Sustainability and Environment Annual Report 2011 and web page at
3.13Extend the Pathways to Sustainability program throughout the region+ The Pathways to Sustainability Program worked with Melbourne's Top 200 water users to reduce consumption by 6,000 ML between 2001-02 and 2007 (DSE (2007) WaterMAP handbook). The WaterMAP program built on the success of Pathways. Between 2007 and 2010-11 WaterMAP worked with thousands of Victorian businesses to achieve 17,000 ML of water savings (see pg 44 Department of Sustainability and Environment Annual Report 2011).Complete
+ VicWater's statewide review of water restrictions and Permanent Water Saving Rules was completed in 2011.The then Minister for Water approved the review on 29 November 2011. The outcomes were that i) the permanent water saving rule which required all non-residential customers using more 10 ML/year or more to complete a WaterMAP was removed (i.e. WaterMAPS became voluntary); ii) Permanent water saving rules would not apply to non-potable water sources. A voluntary WaterMap program for all non-residential customers (5 ML/year or greater water use) was introduced).
3.14Explore alternative pricing options for industry and investigate how to develop water markets that could be open to large industrial water usersInvestigations were conducted into pricing and development of a water market but were not pursued.. Although no options were implemented this action is complete as the required investigations were conducted and new policies are being pursued through Water for Victoria.Complete
3.15Water authorities to report annually to the Minister for Water on large non-residential water usersReported in water corporation annual reports. See for example Annual Reports 2014-2015 for City West Water,Yarra Valley Water  andSouth East Water.Complete
3.16Water authorities to set new recycling targetsTargets were implemented through water corporations' Water Supply Demand Strategies and reported through Annual Reports. However, the previous government discontinued use of targets for metropolitan Melbourne. Complete
3.17Water authorities to mandate dual pipe systems for suitable areas+ The power to do so was done by the department with revisions to the definition of water in the Water Act 1989, and with Clause 56.07for new residential sub-divisions. Recycled water was mandated for 40,000 new homes in the Cranbourne area. Complete
+ A number of dual pipe estates are currently being developed in Melbourne: West Werribee and Epping (Aurora) and opportunities to include recycled water in the forward servicing strategy for the new urban growth corridors are being assessed.  Recycled water is already being supplied via dual pipe to the Sandhurst Estate.
3.18The Growth Areas Authority (GAA) to promote water conservation and recycling in new developments in the growth areas of MelbourneSee Metropolitan Planning Authority Guidelines for Integrated Water ManagementComplete
3.19Continue to research and explore aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) opportunitiesPolicies for Take and User Licences amended to provide for Managed Aquifer Recharge ( Guidelines assist private businesses and water corporations to investigate opportunities. Investigations have been carried out. For example see Barwon Water Water Supply Demand Strategy 2012-2062.Complete
3.2Upgrade the Eastern Treatment Plant to Class A standardSee Melbourne WaterComplete
3.21Proceed to business case for the Eastern Water Recycling ProposalThe Victorian Government announced a commitment to undertake a business case into the Eastern Water Recycling Proposal in The Next stage of the Government's Water Plan. The results of the business case were announced on 26 June 2009 with a summary business case publicly released.Complete
3.22Continue to monitor the quality and volume of the ocean outfall at Boags RocksMelbourne Water publish weekly monitoring of water quality at the outfall in accordance with their EPA licence.Complete
3.23Expressions of interest for a portion of the 35,000 ML of recycled water available from the Western Treatment PlantComplete - Recycled water is being supplied to the Werribee Tourist Precinct (see page 23-24 of Melbourne Water Annual Report 2014- 2015, available at Melbourne Water reports and publications)Complete
3.24Complete feasibility studies for large-scale stormwater reuse options, in particular at Dight's FallsFeasibility study completed by Sinclair Knight Mertz for Melbourne Water in June 2007.Complete
(proceed to business case if appropriate)The Next Stage of the Government's Water Plan (June 2007) publicly announced that this was not a preferred supply option for Melbourne based on the study finding significant technical and environmental constraints making it unsuitable as a large supply option..
3.25Interconnect water supply systems and expand water markets in the Central Region Additional connections implemented. North South Pipeline built see MW. Melbourne Geelong Pipeline was built (see Water for Victoria proposes new work to improve and expand the water grid and trial development of a market in southern Victoria.Complete
3.26Develop a governance framework to guide urban authorities participating in the water marketThere is a governance framework in place for urban authorities to use the water marketComplete
Water Act 1989 -Trade is a key element of the Victorian Entitlement Framework (see Division 1 of Part 4 of the Water Act 1989). Trade is allowed under Bulk Entitlements and water shares
Trading rules apply to urban water corporations
Delegations - For most regulated systems the Minister delegates trade decisions to water corporation and DELWP
Water retailers have been trading allocation to northern Victoria for a number of years (see pg 7 of South East Water Annual Report 2012-13)
Also see action 3.14 on investigations undertaken on urban water markets. If supported through consultation on Water for Victoria, improvements to the southern Basin water market will be pursued through the proposed Southern Water Market Trial.
3.27Monitor the advances in desalination technology and complete a feasibility study for desalination options for Melbourne (proceed toThe decision to build a desalination plant at Wonthaggi for Melbourne's water supplies was announced in June 2007 in The Next Stage of the Government's Water Plan, following feasibility work on options and potential sites. The Wonthaggi desalination Plant has now been built.Complete
business case if appropriate)
4.1Reduce total per capita water consumption by 25% by 2015 and 30% by 2020Target already met - see Central Highlands Water Supply Demand Strategy Figure 2.14Complete
4.2Implement a range of conservation and efficiency programsConservation and efficiency programs implemented - see Central Highlands Water Supply Demand Strategy Chapter 2 and 5Complete
4.3Substitute river water with recycled water in Lake Wendouree and for use by industryRecycled water and stormwater supplied to Lake Wendouree. See City of Ballarat informationComplete
4.4Interconnect Cosgrave Reservoir to White Swan ReservoirSee Central Highlands Water Supply Demand Strategy Figure 2.2Complete
4.5Interconnect Newlyn Reservoir to White Swan ReservoirInterconnection completed - see Central Highlands Water Annual Report 2007-2008Complete
4.6Interconnect to the Goulburn system (Waranga Channel)Interconnection complete - see Central Highlands Water Annual Report 2007-2008Complete
4.7Groundwater from Cardigan aquiferGroundwater is being sourced - see Central Highlands Water Annual Report 2007-2008Complete
4.8Increase environmental flows in the Moorabool River by 6,000 ML by 2015Action 3.5 in the Government's new water plan,  Water for Victoria, commits to investigating options for meeting the 2015 environmental water targets for the Moorabool, Werribee and Maribyrnong Rovers with local communities and stakeholders as part of the review of the Central Region Sustainable Water Strategy.Water for Victoria
Environmental Entitlement provides for average flow of 2,500 ML/yr ( See CorangamiteCMA Draft Seasonal Watering Proposal 2015-16. Total is 5,400 ML
a) Complete - See Corangamite CMA Board Summary 155
b) Complete - Entitlement transferred. Refer to Moorabool River Environmental Entitlement 2010, as above, as at 29 June 2011
c) Internal DSE investigations into the proposed buyback scheme  identified little ecological cost benefit given the small volumes of water to be secured, and difficulties in implementation, and should not be progressed. This has been confirmed through discussions with stakeholders (such as CCMA, SRW). 
4.9Reduce total per capita water consumption by 25% by 2015 and 30% by 2020See Barwon Water Water Supply Demand Strategy 2012-2062 Figure 10Complete
4.1Implement a range of conservation and efficiency measuresSee Barwon Water Water Supply Demand Strategy 2012-2062Complete
4.11Barwon Water will line the Wurdee Boluc Inlet Channel and Ballan ChannelWurdee Boluc inlet channel reconstruction Stage 5 is complete. Stage 7 of the project continues, with it forecast to be finished in the last quarter of 2015-16Ongoing
The Ballan channel reconstruction (She Oaks) is complete
Refer to pg 71 and 72 Victorian Budget 2014-15 Budget Paper No. 4 State Capital Program
Reporting should be updated when construction of the Wurdee Boluc Inlet Channel is complete
4.12Barwon Water will work with Shell Australia to substitute river water with recycled water for on-site use at the Shell refinerySubstitution was completed - see Barwon Water reportingComplete
4.13Barwon Water and Southern Rural Water will conduct an initial trial of aquifer storage and recovery. The trial will begin in 2012Trial was conducted - see Barwon Water Water Supply Demand Strategy 2012-2062Figure 10Complete
4.14Feasibility study of groundwater resource at Newlingrook aquifer and possible Melbourne-Geelong connectionSee Barwon Water Newlingrook Groundwater InvestigationComplete
4.15Entitlement for the use of the Jan Juc deep aquiferSee Bulk Entitlement(Anglesea Groundwater) Order 2009 at the Victorian Water RegisterComplete
4.16Reinstate the Dewing Creek diversion into the Wurdee Boluc Inlet ChannelReinstatement of the Dewing Creek diversion weir is complete. See pg 72 of Victorian Budget 2014-15 Budget Paper No. 4 State Capital ProgramComplete
4.17Increase environmental flows in the Barwon River by 4,700 ML by 2015Increase Barwon River environmental flows by 4,700 MLWater for Victoria
a) Complete - see Victorian Water Accounts 2013-14that show the treatment plant is discharging to the River
b) Ongoing – progress of the action was delayed due to drought conditions. Modelling and negotiations are currently underway, with the action scheduled to be completed by January 2017. Action 3.5 in the Government's new water plan,  Water for Victoria, commits to delivering  the additional water for the Barwon River by mid 2017. Reporting should be updated as further progress is made through the Water for Victoria process.
Other - Complete refer to Action 4.8a)
4.18Reduce total per capita water consumption by 25% by 2015 and 30% by 2020Western Water customers used 166 litres per person per day in 2014-15 (see Western Water Annual Report 2014-15). This is below the 2020 target.Complete
4.19Implement a range of conservation and efficiency measuresTarget for reduction of per capita use exceeded through conservation and efficiency measures as reported in 4.18. Targets were implemented through WSDS.Complete
4.2Substitute recycled water for non-potable uses in new residential and commercial developments in Eynesbury and Melton SouthRecycled water substitution is complete - see Western Water web pageComplete
4.21Increase the use of recycled water from local treatment plantsSee Western Water web page ( and Western Water Annual Report 2014-2015 (
4.22Continue to investigate opportunities to substitute river water for recycled water in irrigation areas in the Werribee catchmentSee Western Water web page ( and Western Water Annual Report 2014-2015 (
4.23Upgrade the existing Melbourne-Inner West connection and purchase additional water rights from the Melbourne poolWestern Water made a series of connections to the Melbourne system in 2004 (see Western Water Drought Response Plan 2012) and has an entitlement to 18,250 ML in the Melbourne system (see Bulk Entitlement (Greater Yarra System - Thomson River Pool - Western Water) Order 2014).Complete
4.24Transfer 50% of the unallocated inflows in Lake Merrimu to Western WaterWestern Water was granted the unallocated portion of Merrimu (as a temporary transfer) during the Millennium Drought. Negotiations between Western Water and DELWP on the sale are continuing. Reporting should be updated as further progress is made.Ongoing
4.25Develop a wellfield between Romsey and LancefieldBorefield connected to the supply system in 2014Complete
4.26Purchase additional entitlements from Pykes Creek Reservoir to supply MyrniongWestern Water - Water Supply Demand Strategy 2011-2060 notes that Myrniong has a highly reliable supply from Pykes Creek Reservoir, with relatively low rates of demand growth forecast, and does not require action to augment supply within the WSDS planning period. The action is assumed to be no longer required and is marked as complete.Complete
4.27Increase storage capacity in the Romsey/ Lancefield systemIncreased storage provided by access to groundwater (See action 4.25)Complete
4.28Increase environmental flows in the Werribee River by 6,000 ML by 2015a) Ongoing - The Western Irrigation Futures Strategy was completed in 2011 (available here). Implementation of Western Irrigation Futures has commenced with work starting on pipelining the 4/1 channel (see Southern Rural Water Water Plan 3 2013-2018).  The Victorian Government committed an additional $11.4 million to upgrade the Werribee Irrigation District in the 2016-17 budget (see table 1.11 of Getting It Done, Victorian Budget 16/17, Service Delivery, Budget Paper No. 3 and media release here). Reporting should be updated as this initiative is progressed.Water for Victoria
b) Complete - Recycled water is being supplied to the Werribee Tourist Precinct (see page 23-24 of Melbourne Water Annual Report 2014- 2015, available here)
c) Complete - 50% of unallocated water now part of Werribee River Environmental Entitlement 2011. The Explanatory Note records the details as per the action. The entitlement and explanatory note are available from the Victorian Water Register Website
Action 3.5 in the Government's new water plan,  Water for Victoria, commits to investigating options for meeting the 2015 environmental water targets for the Moorabool, Werribee and Maribyrnong Rovers with local communities and stakeholders as part of the review of the Central Region Sustainable Water Strategy.
4.29Increase environmental flows in the Maribyrnong River by 3,000 ML by 2015Action 3.5 in the Government's new water plan,  Water for Victoria, commits to investigating options for meeting the 2015 environmental water targets for the Moorabool, Werribee and Maribyrnong Rovers with local communities and stakeholders as part of the review of the Central Region Sustainable Water Strategy.Water for Victoria
4.3Reduce total per capita water consumption by 25% by 2015 and 30% by 2020Household water consumption was 160 litres per person per day 2014-15, below the 2020 target (see Melbourne Water's Water Use Data)Complete
4.31Melbourne water authorities will work to maintain existing water savings (350,000 water-efficient gardens and work with 140,000 householders)Water savings are being maintained taking into account that water restrictions have been relaxed. The Water Smart Gardens and Homes Rebates Scheme had provided 386,500 rebates since January 2003. A range of water-efficient garden products such as permanent greywater systems, wetting/moisture agents, trigger nozzles, moisture/rain sensors and drip watering systems were included in the Rebate Program. The Water Smart Behaviour Change program was also implemented and extended in 2010 and involved directly working with households to promote household water efficiency.Complete
4.32Implement conservation and efficiency programs (water-efficient showerhead program; water-efficient washing machine program;A number of conservation and efficiency measures have been implemented including the Schools Water Efficiency Program, the Water Smart Gardens and Homes and Living Victoria Water Rebate Programs, showerhead exchange schemes and the WaterMAP program (see reporting through other actions). Rebates for water efficient washing machines were implemented but proved of low cost-benefit. Water restrictions in cities and towns across Victoria have also been in place. Water conservation programs revised in 2011 but continued to 2015. Further proposals for water efficiency will be pursued through  the Victorian Government's Water for Victoria.Complete
water-efficient evaporative air conditioners)
4.33Continue to manage the water distribution system efficiently and reduce leakageMelbourne's water retailers continue to invest in leakage detection and investigation programs. Yarra Valley Water report the program saved 4,000 ML in 2014-15 which exceeds the target volume of water in the action (see pg 14 Yarra Valley Water Annual Report 2014-15). South East Water report their program saved 767 ML in 2014-15 (see pg 4 South East Water Annual Report 2014-15). Gan and Purss (2010) Reducing Non Revenue Water in a Retail Water Company shows that non-revenue water was reduced by 68% between 2004-05 and 2008-09 (available at YVW).Complete
4.34Expand the Pathways to Sustainability program and implement other programs to achieve the non-residential conservation targetRefer to Action 3.13Complete
4.35Implement efficiency measures in irrigation systems within the Yarra catchmentsMelbourne Water implemented a program to install data loggers that can be accessed remotely on many diverter customer water meters. Water use information is used for a range of purposes, including checking compliance with restrictions and bans. Irrigators can access water use information and use it to aid farm irrigation management. No formal transfer of 1,500 ML was made to urban customers due to significant additional supplies through augmentation projects.Complete
4.36Invest in voluntary uptake of local water recycling and reuse schemesMelbourne water and retailers annual reports report on a range of activities related to recycled water, stormwater, dual pipe systems. For example Melbourne Water Annual Report 2014-15 reports that it has issued 38 stormwater harvesting licences totalling 2,008 ML. It also delivered 46.6 GL of recycled water for non-drinking purposes (see pages 23- 24). Gan and Redhead (2013) Melbourne Residential Water Use Studies notes that 28% of Melbourne households have rainwater tanks in 2010 to 2012. The Melbourne Water Stormwater Strategy 2013 highlights past and future actions to manage and harvest stormwater (available here)Complete
4.37Government to work with metropolitan water authorities and stakeholders to investigate opportunities to reuse and recycle 30,000 ML of local water sourcesMelbourne water corporations have pursued local reuse and recycling initiatives related to local water sources. For example Aither (2015) 10-year evaluation of the Environmental Contribution reports on investment through the Stormwater and Urban Conservation Fund and Stormwater and Urban Recycling Fund. Water corporation annual reports also highlight numerous relevant projects. The total volume of water reused and recycled from local sources is unclear. Although the action was looked at a timeframe out to 2055, because of the significant progress made it is given the status of Complete, and so no future reporting is recommended through the SWS.Complete
4.38Business cases will be completed for: the Eastern Water Recycling Proposal; desalination options; and stormwater reuse optionsSee actions 3.21, 3.24 and 3.27Complete
4.39Meet the scientific flow recommendations in the Yarra River by 2007It is not clear that a cap of 400,000 ML is established by the Bulk Entitlement (Yarra River- Melbourne Water) Order 2014. An explanatory note is not available. Melbourne Water Annual Report 2014-15 indicates a cap of 397,517 ML. The Yarra Environmental Entitlement 2006 establishes a 17,000 ML right and is at the Victorian Water Register.Complete
4.4Investigate options to provide water to wetlands where it is not possible to provide overbank flows+ An initial mapping and high level prioritisation of Billabongs in Melbourne Water's region was completed in 2012 (SKM (2012) Billabong Conceptualisation and Prioritisation for Environmental Watering).Complete
+ In 2013 a more detailed report was done on four high priority billabong sites SKM (2013) Billabong Conceptualisation for Environmental Watering - Yarra River Catchment) 
+ Targeted billabong watering is now a priority watering action to achieve environmental objectives in the Yarra system (see Table 3.1.1 of VEWH (2015) Seasonal Watering Plan 2014-15)
+ As part of implementing the priority watering action Melbourne Water has begun watering floodplain wetlands. In 2014 water from the environmental entitlement was delivered to the Yering Backswamp via the Maroondah Aqueduct (see page 19 of VEWH (2014) Reflections Environmental watering in Victoria 2013-14).
4.41Increase environmental flows in the Tarago/Bunyip Rivers by 3,000 ML by end 2006a) The Environmental Entitlement provides 3,000 ML of storage and 10.3 % share of flows (see Tarago and Bunyip Environmental Entitlement 2009 at the Victorian Water Register)Complete
b) See Melbourne Water Environmental Flow Determination for the Tarago and Bunyip Rivers 2007
4.42Gippsland Water will, in consultation with the Government and stakeholders, establish an appropriate benchmark and refine targets for total water use (excluding major industry)Gippsland Water pursued numerous water conservation measures for residents and industry that decreased per capita/customer water use substantially (see Gippsland Water (2012) Water Plan 3 Proposal). A number of water supply measures identified in the Gippsland Region SWS have been implemented which means agreed levels of service stated in the WSDS can be delivered (see Gippsland Water: Water Supply Demand Strategy 2012). The status of this action is marked as complete as per capita/customer water demand has decreased substantially, consistent with the intent of the action. Water use has also been monitored and reported..Complete
4.43Develop a separate target for major industry, based on industry best practiceSee Action 4 of the Gippsland Water: Water Supply Demand Strategy 2012that sets a 15% savings targetComplete
4.44Implement conservation and efficiency programs, including replacing the water turbine pump from Blue Rock Reservoir to Moondarra with an electric pumpGippsland Water have and continue to implement conservation and efficiency measures as reported in annual reports and outlined in their WSDS (see An electric pump is in place at Blue Rock Reservoir.Complete
4.45Complete Stage 1 of the Gippsland Water Factory to enable the substitution of river water with recycled water for industryGippsland Water Factory completed and operating  - see Gippsland Water Annual Report 2012-13Complete
4.46Future water available from the Eastern Water Recycling Proposal, Stage 2 of the Gippsland Water Factory or groundwaterConsidered in Gippsland Water: Water Supply Demand Strategy 2012 which proposed that Gippsland Water purchase an increased share of Blue Rock (Gippsland_Water_Final_2012_WSDS). Gippsland Water's share of Blue Rock has increased to 16.27% in the bulk entitlement- see Bulk Entitlement (Gippsland Water - Blue Rock) Conversion Order 1997 at the Victorian Water RegisterComplete
4.47Increase environmental flows in the Latrobe River by 10,000 ML by 2006 for seven yearsThe Blue Rock Environmental Entitlement 2013 provides a capacity share equivalent to 10,000 ML. See the entitlement and Latrobe Explanatory note at the Victorian Water RegisterComplete
b) The action was superseded by GR SWS Action 6.15 which recommended an additional 10 GL of environmental water for the Latrobe River. GR SWS Action 6.15 has been completed. Numerous studies and works have been conducted/implemented into improving the health of the Latrobe River. For example:
Completion of Assessment of Environmental Flow Requirements for the Latrobe River in 2007
Focus on improving condition and connectivity along the Latrobe River as part of implementing the Regional River Health Strategy between 2005 and 2012
Arrowsmith et al (2014) Salinity, water level, and flow considerations for assessing environmental water requirements of the Lower Latrobe River
Moroka (2010) Understanding the environmental water requirements of the Gippsland Lakes system
Latrobe River estuary : Hydrodynamics, environmental water requirements and ecological review
Annual environmental watering program as outlined in VEWH Seasonal Watering Plans 
The West Gippsland Waterway Strategy outlines ongoing river restoration works and investigations for the Latrobe River, including the development of an Environmental Water Management Plan. Use of environmental water is outlined in VEWH Seasonal Watering Plans.
4.48Increase environmental flows in the Thomson/ Macalister River by 15,000 ML by 2012The Macalister River target has been exceeded with 12,460 ML of HRWS and 6,229 ML of LRWS transferred to the environment (see Macalister River Environmental Entitlement 2010 as at 28 June 2012 available from the Victorian Water Register site). The Thomson River water recovery target  was transferred to Action 6.18 of the GR SWS.  Action 3.5 in the Government's new water plan,  Water for Victoria, commits to delivering  the additional water for the Thomson River by mid 2017.Water for Victoria
4.49Reduce total per capita water consumption (excluding major industry) by 25% by 2015 and 30% by 2020Based on 2015 figures Westernport Water has reduced per capita water use since the 1990s by 47%. This achieves the target 25% reduction by 2015 and 30% reduction by 2020. As such the action is recorded as complete.Complete
This figure takes into account the unique circumstances of the region especially on Phillip Island where a large proportion of our homes are holiday homes and with the seal rocks and penguin parade being peak tourist destinations for intrastate, interstate and overseas visitors. The visitor numbers for the region have risen over the past few years up to a total of 4,000,000 tourists per year that are there for at least one day and use the water supply system for toilets or accommodation or in restaurants or other eating establishments. We have details on the latest years where this has been accounted and detailed.
4.5Implement conservation and efficiency programsWesternport Water has implemented a range of water conservation and efficiency measures since 2006. This includes the introduction of Permanent Water Saving Rules, community education, water audits and rebate programs (e.g. efficient showerheads and trigger nozzle exchange programs). Class A recycled water is also supplied for residential, commercial and agricultural purposes, e.g. the Philip Island Recycled Water Scheme which supplies water from the Cowes Wastewater Treatment Plant (refer to Westernport Water Annual Report 2015). It is unclear whether the water conservation targets have been met. However, due to additional supply options (e.g. expansion of Candowie Reservoir from 2,263 ML to 4,463 ML and connection to the Melbourne supply system) the conservation measures are no longer as critical as in 2006 (see Westernport Water Bulk Entitlements on the Victorian Water Register for details). The Westernport Water Water Supply Demand Strategy 2012 notes that 'given the guidance provided in Essential Services Commission Guidelines for 2013 Water Plans, the development of new conservation measures over and above current measures is not considered necessary at this time.' Although this is an ongoing action, sufficient progress has been made in both supply and demand that no further reporting is recommended.Complete
4.51Increase use of recycled water from the Cowes Wastewater Treatment Plant and Westernport Water's purification plantPhilip Island Recycled water scheme commissioned in 2012Complete
4.52Comparative assessment of augmentation options (for implementation by 2008), including an interconnection with: the Bass River; groundwater bores near the Candowie Reservoir; Corinella aquifer; and the Melbourne supply systemCandowie Reserve upgrade complete 2103 and has bulk water entitlement of 1000 ML to the Melbourne system. See Bulk Entitlement (Greater Yarra System - Thomson Pool - Westernport Water) Order 2014. The Corinella Aquifer is included in the supply system (see
4.53Investigate a range of long-term augmentation options, including an interconnection with: the Bass River; groundwater bores near theCandowie Reserve upgrade completed in 2013 ( Westernport Water has access to 1000 ML of water in the Melbourne system - see Bulk entitlement (Greater Yarra System - Thomson Pool - Westernport Water) Order 2014Complete
Candowie Reservoir; Corinella aquifer; the Melbourne supply system; and aquifer storage and recovery using the Wonthaggi
5.1Specify in water authorities' and catchment management authorities' Statements of Obligations a requirement to deliver StrategyStatements of Obligations (SoOs) for water corporations issued in 2015 refers to the need to implement SWSs.Complete
projects and servicesSoOs for CMAs issued in 2007 refer to the preparation, but not implementation, of SWSs.
5.2Water Authorities will be required to: - manage their demand and supply balance to ensure they can provide safe and reliable water supplies; - develop a program of works and initiatives to conserve water and secure water supplies for the future.Action 5.1 of Our Water Our Future (2004) proposed that water corporations be required to prepare Water Supply Demand Strategies (WSDS). Following this, WSDS were prepared as important work to inform water corporations broader infrastructure and pricing plans.+ Regional urban water corporations deliver on action through WSDS (for example see Barwon Water WSDS at
+ A WSDS for Melbourne was released in 2006 to address the action but was not renewed in 2012 (located here).
+ Water corporation Statements of Obligation still require the preparation of Urban Water Strategies or a Melbourne Water System Strategy which addresses continuing implementation of the action.
+ Water Corporations must adhere to the Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 and associated regulations. Post release of the Management of the demand-supply balance is being undertaken through development of the Melbourne Water Supply-Demand Strategy (Oct 2006) which informed development of the Joint Melbourne Water Conservation Plan and individual retailer Water Conservation Plans. Reporting should be completed once future directions for Metros are finalised
+ Recycled water supplies are regulated by the EPA Victoria and Department of Health and meet Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling, Managing Health and Environmental Risks Phase 1 2006 (see
5.3Catchment management authorities will manage the environmental water reserve to optimise environmental outcomes and provide for healthy riversThe Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH), in partnership with catchment management authorities, is now responsible for managing environmental water based on advice provided by CMAs. For example see VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan 2015-16 (Seasonal Watering Plans are available from
5.4Provide funding to support sustainable water management and improve river healthAither (2015) 10-Year Evaluation of the Environmental Contribution (see, demonstrates strong ongoing investment into sustainable water management. For example between 2004-05 and 2013-14 a total of $70.1 million was invested in environmental water planning and management and $149.8 million in waterway health. Readers should refer to environmental and EC reporting for future updates on expenditure and programs. Complete
5.5Continue to monitor and improve understanding of river healthThird Index of Stream Condition published in 2010 ( The Victorian Water Measurement Information System continues to be maintain up to records of water quantity and quality (see
5.6Continue to monitor groundwater and examine opportunities to expand coverage to include groundwater-dependent ecosystems and rivers/wetlandsSee Victorian Water Accounts 2013-14Complete
5.7Continue to implement and improve existing water accounting systemSee Victorian Water Accounts 2013-14Complete
5.8Continue to monitor water consumption and population trends to enable comparison with forecastsWater corporations monitor water and population trends and report in their annual reports. For example see Melbourne Water Annual Report 2014-15 for water consumption reporting, Melbourne Water 2013 Water Plan and City West Water Water Plan 3 2012 for consideration of population growth impacts on water demand. The action is ongoing, but it is clear that the Action has been addressed.  Complete
5.9Maintain water supply models across the region and upgrade where necessaryWater resource models continue to be upgraded on a case by case basis as required. Melbourne Water maintain the Melbourne Water REALM model while DELWP maintain other models for other systems. This is an ongoing action but as maintenance of models is part of DELWP and Melbourne Water procedures no further reporting is required.Complete
5.1Monitor results of climate change studies occurring nationally and internationallySEACI Stage 2 completed in 2012 ( work continues through the Victorian Climate Initiative (VICCI) (
5.11Establish a system to monitor and report on progress in achieving greenhouse neutralityFull implementation of the Action was not pursued. Instead clause 1-6.2 of the Water Industry Act 1994 Statement of Obligations (General) 2015 for water corporations requires water corporations to directly have regard to the guiding principles of the Climate Change Act 2010. Water corporations report on a number of sustainability matters including greenhouse gas emissions.
Action 2.1 in the Government's new water plan, Water for Victoria, proposes a new policy for the water sector to contribute to climate change mitigation by achieving zero-net emissions
Water for Victoria
5.12Improve demand modelling and forecasting abilityDemand modelling has been improved - see for example Yarra Valley Water (2012) Yarra Valley Future Water: Residential Water Use Study Volume 2 – Summer 2012Complete
5.13Investigate whether the adoption of water conservation measures reduces the effectiveness of water restrictions during drought periodsThe review of water restrictions in 2011 (VicWater (2011) Victorian Uniform Water Restriction and Permanent Water Saving Rule Guidelines) considered and recommended an adaptive approach to demand estimation by water corporations. The WSDS Guidelines (DSE (2011) Guidelines for the Development of a Water Supply Demand Strategy) allowed for such an adaptive approach. The effect was considered in the development of Drought Response Plans (for example see section 2.3 of North East Water's Drought Response Plan). Changes to this approach may emerge from the Independent Review of the Climate Change Act 2010. Implementation of any changes should be reported through water corporation annual reporting.Complete
5.14Review and enhance the methodology behind environmental flow studiesDEPI (2013) Flows - a method for determining environmental water requirements in Victoria, Edition 2Complete
5.15Improve understanding of the impacts on rainfall and streamflow of interactions between the El Nino-Southern Oscillation and fluctuations in the Indian Ocean - Rae MoranSEACI Stage 2 completed in 2012 ( work continues through the Victorian Climate Initiative (VICCI) (