Central and Gippsland Sustainable Water Strategy

Two girls watering plants at a community garden

What is a Sustainable Water Strategy?

Sustainable Water Strategies (SWS) are long-term plans developed to secure a sustainable supply of water in Victoria's regions.

There are four Sustainable Water Strategies in Victoria. Each one identifies 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 over the next 50 years.

The Strategies are developed through a mix of stakeholder and community input, subject matter expertise, data analytics and forecasting.

The Central and Gippsland Region SWS

The Central and Gippsland Region SWS will be developed to include an overview of water resources, main water challenges and a long-term plan to secure the water future of the region.

The Strategy will be a comprehensive plan for the sustainable use of water resources in the Central and Gippsland Region – an area that covers the waterways and catchments south of the Great divide down to the coast, from the Otways to East Gippsland.

The Central and Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy will focus on:

  • how we save water – promoting water conservation and efficiency by setting out ways we can continue to reduce the amount of water we use.
  • how we reuse water – facilitating greater use of recycled water and stormwater where it is fit for purpose, and better capture and use the rain that falls on our cities and towns.
  • how we share water – enabling water resources to be better shared by considering all uses and values for water, including those of Traditional Owners; and
  • how we manage water – improving how entitlements and trade can be used by water entitlement holders to manage risks.

Why do we need a Central and Gippsland Region SWS?

The Central and Gippsland Region is home to 6.2 million Victorians and covers approximately 25% of Victoria by area. This includes the waterways and catchments relied on by the Victorian’s south of the Great Divide down to the coast – from Warrnambool to Ballarat, and across to Mallacoota.

With predicted drier conditions ahead and the underlying trend of declining storage levels, we need to find water for drinking and hygiene, rivers and wetlands, industries, tourism, Traditional Owners and farmers.

The Victorian Desalination Plant underpins water security for Melbourne and surrounding regions including Geelong and South Gippsland. It helps build a storage buffer to prepare Victoria for drier years to come.

More than 300 gigalitres of desalinated water have been produced and delivered to the Melbourne system since the water was first ordered from the desalination plant in 2016.

While the Desalination Plant remains essential to our water future, with our drying climate and growing population, we need to continue to look for climate-resilient water sources.

The Victorian Government and water corporations have demonstrated their commitment to investing in water sources – recycled, rainwater and stormwater harvesting – as well as prioritising water saving through water efficiency measures. This SWS will consider how we more efficiently use this precious resource.

Investing in the health of our rivers and waterways is particularly important to the economic, social, and environmental future of our cities, suburbs and towns. That’s why the Central and Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy is important

Page last updated: 22/04/21