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 was published in 2009 and includes policy statements and 51 actions for implementation at a regional and local scale.

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

Actions status

A stocktake of actions in 2016 identified that 44 of the 51 actions in the Northern Region SWS have been completed or are ongoing. A number of remaining actions are linked to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, which was signed into law by the Commonwealth Minister for Water on 22 November 2012 and sets new 'sustainable diversion limits' on water consumption in northern Victoria.

The table below provides information on the status of each action considering the stocktake of the actions in 2016.  The status of these actions will be reassessed as part of the 10-year review of the NRSWS to commence in late 2019.

Action No
Summary Action DescriptionComment Supporting Action StatusAction Status
3.1Encourage the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to undertake the following actions when setting new diversion limits.SDLs were set when the Basin Plan was adopted in 2012. Victoria's submissions to the Guide and Draft (or Proposed) Basin Plan demonstrate efforts as per action. See Basin Proposal (PDF, 1.5 MB)Complete
3.2Encourage the Commonwealth Government to focus on achieving environmental outcomes as efficiently and effectively as possibleVictoria initiated and drafted the first version of the Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism that was incorporated into the Basin Plan (see Chapter 7 of Basin Plan). The Victorian Government's Response to the proposed Basin Plan April 2012, reports that Victoria submitted an environmental works prospectus with more than $380 million of water projects that would help to achieve the same, or similar environmental outcomes with far less water.Complete
These projects were further developed in the Victorian Murray Darling Basin Environmental Works and Measures Feasibility Program for consideration as part of the Basin Plan SDL Adjustment Mechanism.
A shortlist of the projects were further developed for consideration by the SDL Adjustment Assessment Committee for inclusion as part of the SDL Adjustment Mechanism.
3.3Encourage the Basin governments through the Basin Officials Committee and Ministerial Council to reform the Murray-Darling Basin Agreementa) River operating reserves have been established - see clause 102D of the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement and section 3.1.1 of River Murray System annual operating plan 2015-16.Ongoing
b) The establishment of a conveyance reserve (see a) was a prerequisite to assure Victoria there was no risks that Victorian reserves would be borrowed to prop up river operations - see page 23 of Carryover Review Committee Final report to the Minister for Water.
c) SA carryover rules documented in clause 130 and Schedule G of the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement.
d) Accounts published. This is a requirement of the Basin Officials Committee under the Objectives and Outcomes document. Annual review of river operations is required under the Objectives and Outcomes document and is carried out the Independent River Operations Groups.
e) Water sharing anomalies have been, and will continue to be periodically reviewed and pursued through intergovernmental forums. This is an ongoing component of Victoria's advocacy in intergovernmental water discussions – recommended reporting no longer required.   
3.4Encourage the Commonwealth Government (through COAG and the Ministerial Council) to clarify the split of powers, roles and responsibilities in Basin water resource management, in line with principles agreed by affected governments.Governance arrangements are now clearly documented.Complete
Processes exist to integrate planning and management of environmental water. For example see the Southern Connected Basin Environmental Watering Committee Terms of Reference which state that the purpose of the committee is ...To coordinate the delivery of all environmental water in the Southern Connected Basin.
No agreement was reached with partner governments to pursue these matters. But river operation functions and responsibilities are captured in the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement and Objectives and Outcomes document. 
ESC has been accredited (PDF)
3.5Encourage the Commonwealth Government to participate in coordinated management of rivers, wetlands and floodplains.Commonwealth is participating in cooperative management. A range of principles to guide prioritisation and use are set out in Chapter 8 of the Basin Plan. High level coordination of environmental water management is achieved through the Southern Connected Basin Environmental Watering Committee. The Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) and Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) have a partnership agreement about the planning, managing, transfer and monitoring of environmental water (sighted but not publicly available).Complete
4.1Management of domestic and stock water use will be improved.Regulation requiring registration of D&S dams in rural residential areas was introduced in March 2011. The regulation, Policies for Registering Private Dams in Rural Residential Areas 2010), was sighted with information on GMW, Melbourne Water and SRW websites.Complete
Mechanism to track domestic and stock use has been established with requirement to register D&S dams in rural residential areas and requirement for a works licence when constructing D&S bores. In addition there have been a number of studies into D&S dam numbers and volume in Victoria. 
Water Bill 2014 sought to pass required legislation, but the Bill was not pursued by the Government (see section on aesthetic dams)
Action 8.4 in Water for Victoria (WfV) commits to investigating the introduction of a reasonable use limit for domestic and stock use. 
4.2The Minister for Water will issue technical guidelines on calculating the maximum volume of 'reasonable domestic and stock use'.Guidelines for calculating reasonable domestic and stock use were prepared but not approved by the previous Minister for Water.Water for Victoria
Action 8.4 in WfV commits to investigating the introduction of a reasonable use limit for domestic and stock use. Further reporting should be conducted through WfV.
4.3A steering committee will be appointed to assess the implications of the draft Murray-Darling Basin Plan on Victoria's approach to the management of domestic and stock water use.The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has included all domestic and stock use as part of the Basin Plan SDL. Details about how to account for use will be finalised as part of the development of Water Resource Plans. This will include consultation with a range of water users. This action is now being considered as part of Basin Plan implementation. Readers should refer to Water Resource Plans for further information.Basin Plan
4.4Ministerial guidelines for delegated licensing functions will be reviewed.This action is complete. Refer to the Policies for Managing Take and Use licences 2014Complete
4.5Set of standard licence conditions will be developed for Section 51 and Section 67 licences.Standard conditions are contained in the Policies for Managing Take and Use Licences 2014 and works licencesComplete
4.6Local management rules will be formally documented, adopted and published for all surface water and groundwater systems that do not require a management plan.Local Management Rules for most surface water and groundwater systems have been completedOngoing
A review of the Katunga Groundwater Management Plan has commenced. It is scheduled to be complete by July 2017
Upper Goulburn GMA and LMP - complete
Lower Ovens GMA LMP - complete
Central Victorian Mineral Springs GMA and LMP - complete 
Mid Goulburn GMA and LMP - complete
Kiewa GMA and LMP - complete (includes Mullindolingong GMA)
Upper Goulburn GMA and LMP - complete (includes Alexandra GMA)
Eildon GMA and LMP - ongoing 
Strathbogie GMA and LMP - complete
Shepparton Irrigation Region (SIR) WSPA abolished. Shepparton GMA and LMP - complete
Loddon Valley unincorporated area (UnA) - when the mid-Loddon LMP is reviewed consideration will be given to making the Loddon Valley Unincorporated Area another zone. Therefore when the mid-Loddon LMP is reviewed (2016?) the new plan will extend to groundwater in the currently UnA
Campaspe West unincorporated area - This is a low priority area because of the low quality of the groundwater in the area. The LMP is not completed. 
Upper Murray GMA and LMP - complete 
Broken Valley unincorporated area - now referred to as the Broken GMA. The LMP is not complete. 
Surface water 
Local Management Rules have been prepared for most systems where they are required
4.7WSPAs will be declared and a management plan developed for highly-stressed or utilised systemsSee Action 4.8Complete
4.8Management arrangements for each of the priority areas identified within Our Water Our Future will be revisedKatunga WSPA and Groundwater Management Plan remains in place. It is currently under review.Complete
Lower Campaspe Valley WSPA Groundwater Management Plan remains in place. 
The Shepparton Irrigation Region WSPA was abolished in 2013-14 and replaced with the Shepparton Irrigation Region Groundwater Management Area Local Management Plan. The LMP was approved on 3 June 2015.
Spring Hill and Upper Loddon WSPAs merged to form the Loddon Highlands WSPA. The Groundwater Management Plan is complete
Upper Ovens River WSPA Water Management Plan complete.
+ Local Management Rules have been in place for the Mid-Loddon GMA since 2009
+ King Parrot Creek WSPA - undeclared August 2010. Local Management Rules are complete
+ Yea River WSPA - undeclared August 2010. Local Management Rules are complete
+ Sevens Creek Local Management Rules are complete
+ Kiewa River Local Management Rules are complete
4.9Systems with high groundwater and surface water interaction will be identified and integrated management plans prepared. The outcomes of the upper Ovens integrated management plan will be used to progress the development of other integrated plans.Upper Ovens Water Supply Protection Area management plan was approved by Minister in January 2012. The Upper Ovens was seen as the priority area where an integrated management plan was required.Complete
4.1The accounting of authorised, currently unlicensed water use in unregulated river systems will be improved.Correspondence with the MDBA  confirmed that Victoria's cap will be automatically adjusted upwards to account for water issued under Dairy Shed transition program and stock watering associated with fencing of riparian frontages.Complete
4.11Groundwater management area and water supply protection area boundaries will be reviewed.New groundwater catchments are now in place and PCVs set. Dates of changes to areas are as per dates on management plansComplete
4.12Appropriate restriction policies for groundwater and unregulated river systems will be developed.Restriction policies for unregulated river systems are contained in local management rulesComplete
Restriction policies for groundwater are contained in local management plans or statutory groundwater management plans
Required statutory changes to allow for water allocations in groundwater systems have not been pursued. However, water corporations adopt a quasi-allocation type approach using restriction powers in appropriate systems e.g. Mid Loddon GMA, Loddon Highlands WSPA.
4.13Options to unbundle Section 51 licences will be investigated.A number of studies into unbundling of surface and groundwater have been conducted but not pursued. These meet the requirements of the action. Studies include: Complete
URS (2012) Shepparton Irrigation Region (SIR) - Developing a new groundwater management framework.
A number of background papers for the Water Law Review.
NWC (2011) A framework for managing and developing groundwater.
NWC (2011) Strengthening Australia's water markets.
Western Region SWS - refer action 3.1.
4.14A dairy wash licence transition program will be implemented until the 26 February, 2010.The Dairy Shed Water Licence Transition Program is complete.Complete
Revised PCVs were Gazetted on 14th July 2011.
4.15The following amendments will be made to improve source bulk entitlements.A review of Bulk Entitlements was completed in January 2016 (report sighted).Complete
The Bulk Entitlement (Campaspe System - Goulburn Murray Water) Conversion Order 2000 was amended in 2012 and 2013 to improve flexibility in delivery of passing flows, define the volume of dead storage and spill rules in Eppalock and reflect the decommissioning of the Campaspe Irrigation District and granting of a new Campaspe River Environmental Entitlement. 
Bulk Entitlement (Eildon-Goulburn Weir) Conversion Order 1995 was amended on 22 March 2012 to address Action 4.15.
Bulk Entitlement (Loddon System - Goulburn-Murray Water) Conversion Order 2005 was amended on 10 April 2014 to: i) specify dead storage volumes for Tullaroop, Cairn Curran and Laanecoorie Reservoirs, ii) specify how seasonal determinations are made and iii) clarify spill rules.
Bulk Entitlement (River Murray - Goulburn-Murray Water) Conversion Order 1999has been amended to address this action, e.g. inclusion of system ope rating water, reserve and carryover.
Bulk Entitlement (Ovens System - Goulburn-Murray Water) Conversion Order 2004- not amended after SWS, but amendments in 2009 and operating arrangements agreed between GMW and North East Water in 2008 adequately manage risks/issues associated with extreme drought.
Bulk Entitlement (Bullarook System - Goulburn-Murray Water) Conversion Order 2009- includes arrangements that manage risks/issues identified through the SWS.
Distribution system operating water is now quantified and separated in GMW's Goulburn and Murray Bulk Entitlements.
Distribution system operating water is being allocated through Bulk Entitlements as it becomes available (refer Bulk Entitlements).
Bulk Entitlements can be viewed at the Victorian Water Register website.
4.16Where required, delivery bulk entitlements will be amended.Coliban Water amalgamated BE: see Bulk Entitlement (Goulburn Channel System Coliban Water) Order 2012.Complete
Goulburn Valley Water's amalgamated BE: see Bulk Entitlement (Goulburn Channel System - Goulburn Valley Water) Order 2012.
Carryover is now available to Bulk and Environmental Entitlements: see Carryover for Bulk and Environmental Entitlements in the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe Water Systems (Declaration and Determination) 2010.
Bulk and Environmental Entitlements can be viewed at the Victorian Water Register website.
4.17Where required to ensure critical human needs can be met, bulk entitlements for unregulated systems will be amended. Bulk entitlements have been amended as required. For example see the Bulk Entitlement (Bright) Conversion Order 2000. Complete
Bulk and Environmental Entitlements are available from the Victorian Water Register.
4.18An environmental entitlement will be created to give legal recognition to unregulated flows that are available after consumptive demands have been met and before a period of surplus flows is declared.The unregulated flow is recognised in Bulk Entitlement (River Murray - Flora and Fauna) Conversion Order 1999, as amended at 5 June 2014. See Table 1 in Schedule 5).Complete
Bulk and Environmental Entitlements can be viewed at the Victorian Water Register.
4.19Where distribution system operating water is clearly intended for environmental benefit, it will be quantified in bulk entitlements and converted to environmental entitlements to provide the environmental manager with increased flexibility.Greater flexibility in the delivery of passing flows has been provided in the Campaspe and Loddon systems. Campaspe - see Bulk Entitlement (Campaspe System - Goulburn-Murray Water) Conversion Order 2000, as amended to 1 July 2013.Complete
Loddon - see Bulk Entitlement (Loddon River - Environmental Reserve) Order 2005, as amended to 10 April 2014.
4.2To better share the risk of reduced water availability in the future, the triggers for water allocation, borrow and payback for the Barmah-Millewa Environmental Water Allocation will be redefined.The Barmah-Millewa Forest Environmental Water Allocation was pursued through the Independent Review of the Efficiency of River Murray Operations, but wasn't resolved. The Barmah-Millewa Forest Environmental Water Allocation is being considered as a supply measure in the Basin Plan's SDL Adjustment Mechanism. Reporting should be updated when further progress is made.Ongoing
4.21To maximise the environmental benefit of the 80 GL flows from Lake Eildon, an environmental watering plan will be developed and the entitlement reviewed.A revised FLOWs study has been completed for the Mid-Goulburn. This provides a strong scientific basis for the development of watering plans.Complete
The Goulburn Broken CMA prepare an annual watering proposal which considers the availability of the flood release (called an 'additional passing flow below Eildon Pondage Weir'). The proposal considers a range of risks associated with environmental watering, including flooding private property. The VEWH use the proposal as the basis for preparing their Seasonal Watering Plan.
4.22Environmental managers will advise rural water corporations of environmental sites which may require water delivery via the irrigation distribution system.CMAs engage with rural water corporations about the deliverability of seasonal watering proposals. For example see sections 6 and 9 of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Wetlands Seasonal Watering Proposal 2013-14. This meets the requirements of the action. More specific arrangements are provided in Environmental Water Delivery Plans. The VEWH is also working with CMAs and water corporations to improve these arrangements through the development of formal operating arrangements (required by bulk and environmental entitlements) with rural water corporations.Complete
4.23Where the use of environmental water will change the historical delivery pattern and there will be congestion in natural waterways outside of distribution systems, a process will be developed to manage rationing.Extraction shares are a share of the total amount of water that can be drawn from regulated rivers at a certain point over a given period. Extraction shares are used to restrict water extraction in times of high demand. The extraction share is expressed on a works licence. Complete
Reporting against this priority output indicates that the VEWH has not completed all formal operating arrangement documents between storage managers, waterway managers and land managers (where applicable). This is a clear, easily interpreted and measurable output.
Operating arrangements, including those related to channel capacity, are a requirement in bulk and environmental entitlements (for example see Bulk Entitlement (River Murray - Flora and Fauna) Conversion Order 1999 as at 5 June 2014, that can be viewed at the Victorian Water Register). Volume 2 of the Strategic Review of the VEWH Organisational Performance page 20 notes that the operating arrangements for delivery of environmental water are being completed by the VEWH. The lack of formal documentation of current operating arrangements was discussed in an interview with a storage manager. The storage manager recognised the value of the arrangements. However, they believed that that the excellent communication and coordination role played by the VEWH meant that effective water management was being achieved even though not all arrangements were in place. Informal arrangements are in place and well understood. To date the lack of formal documentation has not had significant consequences. Existing processes appear to be meeting the requirements of the action. However, the VEWH should endeavour to complete formal operating arrangements required by bulk and environmental entitlements.
4.24Develop appropriate processes and rules to implement the return flows policy.The return flows policy has been implemented through bulk and environmental entitlements and other accounting processes. For example see the Bulk Entitlement (River Murray - Flora and Fauna) Conversion Order 1999 as at 5 June 2014, can be viewed at the Water Register. Also see page 10 of the VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan 2015-16Complete
5.1The system reserve policy for the Goulburn system will be amendedThe reserve policy is stated in section 4A.3 of the Bulk Entitlement (Eildon-Goulburn Weir) Conversion Order 1995 as at 21 May 2015, it can be viewed at the Victorian Water Register.Complete
5.2The reserve policy for the Murray system will be amendedThe reserve policy is stated in Schedule 3 of the Bulk Entitlement (River Murray - Goulburn-Murray Water) Conversion Order 1999 as at 21 May 2015Complete
5.3Hydrological modelling will be undertaken to assess the effectiveness of changing the reserve policy on the Broken system to address the risk of zero allocation years.The Broken System reserve policy was reviewed in 2012 with the recommendation being not to introduce a reserve policy. See the Review of Allocation and trading rules for the Broken System Draft v5.1 June 2012, available here.Complete
5.4The following ongoing carryover rules will be introduced effective from the end of the 2009/10 irrigation seasonA number of changes to carryover rules have been made since the release of the NR SWS. The latest review was completed in 2012. The reported outcomes are available at Current carryover rules and Carryover declarations and determinations made by the Minister for Water can be viewed at
5.5From 2010, the following carryover rules will be able to be introduced for Section 51 licence-holders in appropriate groundwater systems.Carryover for groundwater has been introduced in the following systems:Complete
Lower Campaspe Valley water supply protection area
Mid Loddon groundwater management area
Loddon Highlands water supply protection area
West Wimmera groundwater management area
Formal carryover rules set by the Minister for Water
Carryover may be introduced for other areas if groundwater systems are deemed to be appropriate. However, the action can be taken as complete for the purposes of the NRSWS reporting.
5.6Trading rules will be improved to provide better opportunities and increased flexibility for entitlement-holders while preventing third party impacts.Chapter 9 of Water for Victoria sets out a range of actions to improve the effectiveness of water markets and trading rules across the state. Work to implement this may lead to a revised program of trading rule improvements to those outlined in the Northern SWS.Ongoing
A report on the progress of elements of this action is set out below.
A. Completed for the Broken River. Other basins may be reviewed on an as need basis. 
B. Trade in the Coliban and Broken systems:
(1) Broken system trade review completed with changes to carryover and allocation trade implemented
(2) Work on the Coliban system has commenced but with no nominated completion date. 
C. Barmah-Choke trading rules - Processes for announcing the relaxation of the trade restriction across the Choke have been put in place, but Victoria is pursuing further work with the MDBA to define guidelines for when the trade rule can be relaxed.
D. Leasing options – Public checklist to support leasing contract not commenced. However, new, more flexible options to manage lease arrangements have also been created under the Water Act, with amendments in 2014 to allow a water share owner to issue a standing direction for future allocations to be assigned to another person.
E. Interstate trade processing: 
(1) Completed for allocation trading, with Victorian, NSW and SA water registers now communicating through automated data files. This has led to significant improvements in trade processing times, with 90% of trades with NSW now completed within 5 days and 90% of trades with SA now completed within 6 days, well inside the COAG standards of 10 and 20 days respectively.
(2) Some progress has been made on interstate tagging of entitlements – a CoAG workgroup prepared an Issues Paper and then referred the matter to the MDBA. Further work on this will be progressed through the Interstate Trade Adjustments project in 2017. 
F. General trading rules and exceptions for unregulated trades. 
(1) Victoria's winter-fill SDLs are now maintained in the Victorian Water Register.
(2) Relaxation of the general rules in the upper Murray has been investigated but not yet been completed. 
(3) An investigation of trade in the Ovens and King is complete and changes implemented
(4) The 'Policies on Managing Take and Use Licences' now include a provision to allow upstream trade in special circumstances.
(5) A study on the possibility of relaxing the 20% per cent reduction on downstream trades in the Kiewa is underway, with recommendations on the possibility to relax this rule in the Kiewa and other locations to be considered.
G. Improving trading information for unregulated systems. 
(1) Little progress in reviewing restriction policies. 
(2) Investigation of changes to trading zones has not commenced. 
H. Trading between unregulated and regulated systems. No opportunities for improvement have been discovered to date. 
I. Trade of groundwater - DELWP continue to discuss the interpretation of Basin Plan groundwater trade rules with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.  
Reporting should be updated if further progress is made.
6.1To increase productivity and water savings and improve environmental and community outcomes, programs to modernise the irrigation sector in northern Victoria will be integratedSignificant efforts have been made to integrate modernisation programs in northern Victoria, including:Complete
As part of NVIRP (now the Goulburn-Murray Water Connections Project (GCP)) Commonwealth purchases linked to modernisation were exempted from the 4% rule before the rule was removed on 1 July 2014. 
GMW is managing the integrated delivery of Connections Stages 1 and 2. 
The rollout of on-farm modernisation programs are aligned with distribution system modernisation, i.e. to be eligible farms had to be connected to a backbone outlet approved by GMW or have a connections agreement. See Eligibility Criteria - Farm Water Program Round 4
Consideration has been given to structural works for delivery of environmental water (see section 16 of Connections Project Water Change Management Framework Version 3 2013)
The future delivery of the Connections Project will be guided by the reset that was announced on 3 June 2016.  Readers should refer to future specific project reporting for further information.
The Sunraysia Modernisation Project has pursued a number of integration opportunities, including facilitating environmental watering in Cardross Lakes and Woorlong Wetland system (see Sunraysia Modernisation Project: Project Schedule)
6.2The Victorian Manual of Salt Disposal in the Murray-Darling Basin will be updated.The updated Manual for Victoria's Salinity Accountability in the Murray-Darling Basin was published in April 2011. No changes have yet been made as a result of the Basin Plan. As noted in the action further changes may be required now the Basin Plan and new basin-wide salinity strategy have been released (Basin Salinity Management 2030). Readers should refer to DELWP's website for any updates of the Manual.Complete
6.3The salinity impacts of water use in irrigation areas will be managed through water-use licences and associated annual use limits.Water use licences and annual use limits were introduced as part of unbundling in 2007 (see part 4B of the Water Act 1989,Ministerial Determination on Standard Water Use Conditions and Policies for Managing Water-use Licences in Salinity Impact Zones
The use of AULs to manage salinity impacts of new irrigation developments is described in the Mallee Region Salinity Register: Register Procedures Manual 2010 and reported in Victoria's annual Basin Salinity Management Strategy reports. 
The salinity impacts of modernisation works is being assessed through existing procedures under Schedule B of the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement
The new Basin Salinity Management 2030 strategy commits to bringing environmental water fully into the salinity accountability framework. 
Readers should refer to Basin Salinity Management 2030 reporting by the MDBA for updates on salinity accountability for environmental water.
6.4To maintain a robust, practical and affordable process to manage salinity on farms across northern Victoria. Due to the availability of salinity credits, a rolling cap on AUL in Low Impacts Zones 3 and 4 is deemed to be no longer required.Complete
The need to expand salinity impacts zones upstream of Nyah was investigated but deemed to be unnecessary (see RM Consulting Group (2011) Feasibility study regarding the potential business case for the targeted purchase of water-use licences or annual use limits)
The ability to transfer AUL in salinity impacts zones is documented in the Policies for Managing Water-Use Licences in Salinity Impact Zones
7.1Victoria will put forward water recovery targets to guide the Commonwealth Government's $3.1 billion water purchase program and Basin Plan.NR SWS water recovery targets for river systems were proposed to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority as part of the development of the Basin Plan. The targets were adopted as the Local Reduction Amounts for Victorian valleys in the Basin Plan. MDBA imposed additional water recovery on top of Local reduction amounts (Shared Reduction Amount) is available for use in wetlandsComplete
7.2A VEWH will be established as an independent statutory body responsible for holding and managing environmental water entitlements and allocations and making decisions on their best use, including trade and carryover, to achieve the highest environmental valueThe Victorian Environmental Water Holder was established on 1 July 2011 (see Part 3AA of Water Act 1989).Complete
7.3Priority structural works and infrastructure upgrades will be developed into a prospectus for investment to complement the Strategy's water recovery targets.The Victorian Government's Response to the proposed Basin Plan April 2012, reports that Victoria submitted an environmental works prospectus with more than $380 million of water projects that would help to achieve the same, or similar environmental outcomes with far less water (Basin Plan Proposal April 2012). Complete
These projects were further developed in the Victorian Murray Darling Basin Environmental Works and Measures Feasibility Program for consideration as part of the Basin Plan SDL Adjustment Mechanism.
A shortlist of the projects were further developed for consideration by the SDL Adjustment Assessment Committee for inclusion as part of the SDL Adjustment Mechanism
7.4Guidelines will be prepared to formalise the use of water en route for environmental and social benefits.Specific guidelines have not been required as  the use of consumptive water en route is now a routine option for supplementing the use of environmental water. The VEWH formally recognises the volume of consumptive water en route that may be available as part of estimating water availability (see for example tables 5.2.5, 5.2.16, 5.2.17 in VEWH Seasonal Watering Plan 2015-16. Seasonal Watering Plans are available at
7.5Programs will continue to be identified and implemented for land-holders who wish to improve land management practices and fence off riparian zones.Policies for Managing Take and Use Licences permit the issuing of an all year licence to pump water from the waterway for stock to drink. This is to provide stock water where the riparian zone has been fenced. Programs for managing crown water frontages continue to be made available to landholders.Complete
7.6The seasonally adaptive approach will be incorporated into the Victorian Strategy for Healthy Rivers, Estuaries and Wetlands and the next review of regional river health strategies to guide annual planning and investment at a regional scale.The seasonally adaptive approach has been built into the Improving Our Waterways: Victorian Waterway Management Strategy 2013 - see section 4.2.5 of the strategy.Complete
7.7Should it become apparent that environmental objectives can no longer be feasibly met as a result of a long term or permanent reduction in water availability, amendment of these objectives will be formally considered as part of the statutory 15-year reviewThe process for considering changes to environmental objectives has been incorporated in to the Victorian Waterway Management Strategy 2013 - see section 4.2.7 of the strategy.Ongoing
The need to change environmental management objectives may be considered as part of the 15-year review of water resources (refer to Part 3 Division 1C of the Water Act 1989). It will be informed by Regional Waterway Strategies developed by CMAs.
8.1Drought response plans will be updatedWater corporations updated their drought response plans and have been implementing these. For example all corporations provided Water Security Outlooks in December 2015. Example drought response plans can be found at:Complete
Goulburn Valley Water
North East Water
Other corporations have plans but these aren't available on the website, e.g. Coliban Water's Drought Risk Management Plan 2014(report sighted). Coliban is also developing nine system specific plans
8.2A consistent approach will be developed to manage the expansion of reticulated domestic and stock supply systems.The Victorian government and water corporations continue to expand reticulated domestic and stock services. A consistent approach is used to assess reticulated domestic and stock systems. Project development is guided by a range of existing principles and guidelines including ESC pricing principles. Also, pipelines are part of supply-demand options considered in WSDSs and as such business case development considers the matters listed in the action.Complete
8.3WaterMAPs will be required to be developed by any non-residential customer using more than 10 ML/year who connects to the urban supply system.VicWater's statewide review of water restrictions and Permanent Water Saving Rules was completed in 2011 (document sighted). The Minister 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.Complete
8.4The uniform water restriction schedule will be reviewed.+ A review of uniform water restriction schedule and permanent water saving rules was completed in late 2011. The former Minister for Water approved the VicWater Position Paper in October 2011. Complete
+ Legal instruments including Permanent Water Saving Plans, Melbourne DRP and Model Water Restriction By-laws for the whole state were subsequently approved by the then Minister for Water and gazetted

Page last updated: 18/05/23