A stocktake, of SWS actions, completed in 2016,  has identified that of these 300 actions, 239 are now complete. Of the remaining actions, 29 are ongoing and a further 32 will be implemented through other policies, mainly through the State's new Water plan, Water for Victoria and Victoria's implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

Action Status Sustainable Water Strategies
Central Region Northern Region Gippsland Region West RegionTOTAL
Complete 103 44 47 46 239
Ongoing 2 5 11 11 29
To be implemented through Basin Plan - 1 - 1 2
To be implemented via Water for Victoria 7 2 10 11 30
TOTAL 112 51 68 69 300

Key areas of achievement for implemented actions include:

  • Improved approaches to groundwater management;
  • Water conservation programs for homes, schools and communities;
  • Infrastructure construction and/or upgrade;
  • Water cycle management and resource planning;
  • Environmental water recovery and management;
  • Improved water markets; and
  • Victorian and regional water management strategies development.

Due to changes in climatic conditions or policy and legislative settings since the release of the SWSs, some actions or subcomponents of actions may no longer be appropriate or relevant.  These unresolved actions will be subject to a comprehensive review process.

A detailed summary of the status of each individual action is available for the Northern Region SWS , Central Region SWS and the Western and Gippsland Region SWSs.

Review of sustainable water strategies

Each SWS is required to be reviewed and renewed ten years after its release. The first of these reviews, for the Central Region SWS, was commenced in late 2016 and will be progressed throughout 2017.

This review, in conjunction with the Water for Victoria implementation process, will consider all residual SWS actions in the context of statewide policy and planning implications. Actions still requiring implementation will be identified, reviewed and further action determined and planned for through this process.

This process will need to ensure:

  • That processes to review sustainable water strategy and to undertake long-term water resources assessment and any associated review (due to commence in August 2018) are streamlined;
  • An appropriate range of climate change scenarios are used to inform future sustainable water strategies;
  • Consider opportunities for achieving shared benefits, including those related to recreational values, in reviews of sustainable water strategies; and
  • Include representation of the aboriginal community in consultative committees for sustainable water strategies.

Five-yearly assessment of sustainable water strategies

Water for Victoria announced that the department would undertake an assessment of the sustainable water strategies at the five-year mark. These assessments will be informed by annual monitoring and reporting.  The Water Act 1989 also requires a report each year on the implementation of the strategies. These annual reports and five-yearly assessments will identify any key trends and issues to be taken up for the 10-year reviews, and will inform the methodology of long-term water resource assessments. Five-yearly assessments of the Gippsland and Western sustainable water strategies will commence in 2017.