Central Region SWS Review

The Central Region SWS review is now complete.  

The review of the Central Region Sustainable Water Strategy was developed in collaboration with other government departments, independent experts and water-sector stakeholders including Traditional Owner groups and urban, rural and environmental water users. It was being conducted with strategic guidance, advice and oversight of a consultative committee.

A draft review report was available for public consultation in July and August 2018.  A total of 36 submissions were received at the close of the consultation process. A feedback synthesis report was prepared summarising the feedback received:

The feedback received was incorporated in the Central Region Sustainable Water Strategy Review. The review of the Central SWS did not develop a new strategy or new policy. Rather the main outcome of the review report was to summarise the delivery of the actions within the SWS, documents lessons learnt and outlines issues for consideration in a future SWS or SWS’s incorporating the Central Region.  

Central Region SWS

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.

Actions status

The status of actions in the Central Region was updated as part of the Central Region SWS review in 2018. The review identified that 104 actions in the Central Region SWS were now achieved, five actions were classified as partly achieved and 3 not yet achieved.

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ACTION

COMMENT

ACTION STATUS (REVIEW 2018)

DELIVERY PERIOD

2.1

Engage Aboriginal communities in developing regional river health strategies

The action contributed to long-term changes to water planning and management to incorporate the water values of Traditional Owners and Victorian Aboriginals. The Guidelines for preparing regional strategies for healthy rivers and wetlands directed CMAs to engage with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians when updating regional river health strategies. Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians were also consulted during the development of the Victorian Waterway Management Strategy and regional waterway strategies and will continue to be involved in other planning activities (such as seasonal watering proposals). Water for Victoria strengthened the requirement to consider Traditional Owners’ values in water management and has an action (8.7) to ensure this is part of future SWSs.

Achieved

September 2013 –ongoing

2.2

Establish the environmental water reserve for each river in the Central Region

The systems in the Central Region that can receive environmental water are the Yarra, Tarago (and Bunyip), Barwon (lower Barwon Wetlands and upper Barwon), Maribyrnong, Moorabool, Werribee, Latrobe, Thomson and Macalister river systems. Since the Central SWS was released, FLOWS studies for the Latrobe River (2006) and estuary (2013) were completed. A FLOWS update and environmental water management plan were completed for the Macalister River in 2016, and a shortfalls update is underway. A FLOWS and shortfalls update is about to start for the Latrobe River, in collaboration with the Latrobe Valley Regional Rehabilitation Strategy regional water studies. A FLOWS and shortfalls update for the Thomson River is scheduled to start later in 2018–19. Flow studies will continue to be updated to provide information for a future SWS. Updates are also underway for the upper Barwon, Yarrowee/Leigh and Maribyrnong rivers.

Partly achieved

Over several years – ongoing

2.3

Annual compliance reporting of the environmental water reserves

The action improved transparency in the use of water for the environment. The Victorian Water Accounts have reported water set aside in the environmental water reserve since the 2006–07 edition, and reporting is planned to continue.

Achieved

July 2007 – ongoing

2.4

Issue new entitlements or licences to extract additional water from rivers only if river health is protected

The action helped protect river health. The Victorian Water Accounts list environmental water entitlements. New take and use licences may only be issued in accordance with sustainable diversion limits. Permissible consumptive volumes (PCVs) have been set by Ministerial Order for each basin in the region. This action requires ongoing review to remain current and to ensure it continues to help protect river health.

Achieved

July 2010 – ongoing

2.5

Further work on impacts and ways of mitigating impacts of small catchment dams

The action provided a mechanism to understand the impact of small-catchment dams and to incorporate it into future planning and management. A statewide policy on dams was included in the Northern Region SWS in 2009 and registration of dams in rural residential areas was introduced in 2011. This policy lapsed in 2017. WfV action 8.4 identifies the need to report on significant users of water.

Achieved

Mar-11

2.6

Review current operating and harvesting rules to improve river health benefits

The action provided and will continue to provide ongoing opportunities to revise operating rules to benefit river health. Operating rules were reviewed when bulk entitlements were created or amended. Bulk entitlements were amended during and after the Millennium Drought to increase management flexibility to minimise the impact of dry conditions on the environment. This included the Bulk Entitlement (Maribyrnong -Southern Rural Water) Conversion Amendment Order 2010 and the Bulk Entitlement (Werribee System ­Irrigation) Conversion Amendment Order 2011. Other improvements included the more efficient use of environmental bulk entitlements including modifying passing flows from the Thomson Dam to enable ‘banking’ of water for use at other, more critical times. The VEWH’s process for preparing seasonal watering plans considers options for managing existing environmental water holdings under existing operating rules. Where there is some flexibility in an environmental entitlement about how passing flows are provided, this will be part of the seasonal watering plan.

Achieved

Ongoing

2.7

Increase the environmental water reserve by 66 GL by 2015

The environmental water reserve has increased by 60.8 GL. Action 3.5 of Water for Victoria commits the government to investigate options to meet previous environmental water commitments to the Moorabool, Werribee and Maribyrnong rivers. It also flags that any additional environmental water recovery will be part of a future SWS.

Partly achieved

Ongoing

2.8

Pilot the Water Swap program

The action piloted an approach to help with water management. The (then) Department of Sustainability and Environment and the West Gippsland CMA piloted this program in the Macalister Irrigation District in 2008–09. The pilot was completed and a review could be carried out to determine lessons learnt.

Achieved

Jun-09

2.9

Evaluate the effectiveness of stream frontage programs and assess options to accelerate their implementation

The action contributed to further resourcing of stream frontage management. Between 2002–03 and 2015–16, state government funding contributed to over 10,000 km of riparian fencing and 36,000 ha of riparian land fenced off and works undertaken (such as revegetation and weed management).

Numerous audits and evaluations of riparian projects by CMAs found projects were generally well managed, technically sound and able to demonstrate the outputs achieved (such as fencing and revegetation).

To accelerate the implementation of riparian works, in 2015 the Victorian Government launched the Regional Riparian Action Plan, a five-year plan to accelerate onground riparian management works across regional Victoria to improve the health of riparian land along Victoria's regional rivers, estuaries and wetlands. It has also provided a further $40 million for riparian works from 2015–20 to implement the plan. Priorities were informed by regional waterway strategies.

Achieved

2015

2.10

Develop environmental drought response plans

The action led to the development of an approach to help manage water resources during drought. Water authorities and CMAs now develop dry inflow contingency plans, and the seasonal watering proposals CMAs and Melbourne Water submit to the VEWH each year address the impact of low inflows on the environment.

Achieved

2006–07 – ongoing

2.11

Approach to manage the potential impacts of climate change on river health

The action identified approaches to consider climate change impacts, which are now incorporated into other management approaches. The potential impacts of climate change are now addressed at all levels of water planning as a result of legislative and policy initiatives including the Climate Change Act 2017 and Victoria's Climate Change Adaptation Plan 2017-2020.

The 2013 Victorian Waterway Management Strategy included updated policies to manage the state’s rivers, estuaries and wetlands in the context of climate change. These guided the next generation of regional waterway strategies. CMAs have also finalised climate change adaptation plans, to better integrate climate change planning into their regional natural resource management (including waterway management) activities.

Water for Victoria sets the long-term direction for managing water resources, including waterway health, in the face of climate change and a growing population. It will guide how the water sector adapts to and manages the impacts of climate change on the state's water resources in coming decades. The water sector will lead climate change adaptation actions resulting from Victoria’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan 2017 – 2020 and the review of the Climate Change Act 2010.

Achieved

Ongoing

2.12

Establish environmental water reserves (EWRs) for all areas where groundwater is found in reasonable quality and quantity

The intent of this action has effectively been achieved by incorporating environmental impacts of groundwater extraction into the ongoing groundwater management and licence assessment process. Specifically, Section 40 (1)d outlines that the Minister must have regard to any adverse effect that the allocation or use of water under the entitlement is likely to have on a waterway, drainage regime or the maintenance of the environmental water reserve in accordance with the environmental water reserve objective.

Achieved

Date not available

2.13

Establish permissible consumptive volumes for each groundwater management area

PCVs for each groundwater management area were declared in the late 1990s and early 2000s. PCVs continue to be revised as part of the review of groundwater management plans and water supply protection area management plans. Groundwater in northern Victoria was capped by Commonwealth legislation under the Basin Plan 2012.

Achieved

Jun-09

2.14

Annual compliance reporting of the use and recharge of aquifers

The action improved transparency about groundwater resources including water recharged into aquifers as part of managed aquifer recharge schemes. Groundwater licensed volume and use are reported annually in the Victorian Water Accounts.

Achieved

Ongoing

2.15

Approach to sustainably manage aquifers

The action contributed to greater consideration of groundwater management, laying the groundwork for further reforms to groundwater management in the Western Region SWS. This addressed groundwater trading, developed an approach to managing groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs) and considered the impacts of land use changes and extractive industries. Western Region SWS outcomes were incorporated into the statewide groundwater policy in 2011. Further actions on groundwater were incorporated into the Western Region and Gippsland Region SWSs to further this action.

Achieved

2011

2.16

Identify and develop underutilised groundwater resources and explore aquifer recharge opportunities

The action contributed to greater consideration of groundwater management. This was further addressed in the Western Region SWS, which included policies for managed aquifer recharge. Water corporations in the region have run aquifer recharge programs (such as City West Water’s trial using treated wastewater). For example, a groundwater resource assessment identified additional water that could be used in the Parwan Groundwater Management Area (GMA) and the Jan Juc GMA (Anglesea).

Achieved

Date not available

2.17

Issue new groundwater entitlements or licences if long-term sustainability of aquifers and groundwater-dependent ecosystems are protected

The action contributed to greater consideration of groundwater management and access to additional groundwater resources. The additional groundwater identified in the Parwan Groundwater Management Area (GMA) was made available through an auction. The additional groundwater in the Jan Juc GMA was incorporated into Victoria's first bulk entitlement for groundwater to supply Geelong. This was further addressed in the Western Region SWS. See action 2.15.

Achieved

Date not available

3.1

Water authorities to implement water conservation programs to achieve conservation targets

The action encouraged residences and businesses to more efficiently use water. The Water Smart Gardens and Homes Rebate Scheme provided incentives for households to buy water-efficient appliances and home potable substitution systems (such as connected rainwater tanks and greywater reuse). Between 2007–11, nearly 140,000 rebates resulted in an estimated 1,758 ML per year (ongoing) of reduced demand. Water corporations have implemented conservation and efficiency measures since the strategy started. These measures were integral to maintaining water supplies to the region during the drought. Water use per person decreased dramatically during the drought and remains below pre-drought levels.

Achieved

Ongoing

3.2

Extend the regional Our Water Our Future behavioural change program until 2015

Target Your Water Use is program for regional Victoria similar to Target 155. Target Your Water Use was designed for regional urban areas, where population growth is placing increasing pressure on water storages. Like Target 155, this program takes a longer-term view of water usage habits, while providing locals easy access to the information they need to make informed decisions about the amount of water they use. It also recognises that each regional water corporation faces a unique set of circumstances and a one-size-fits-all approach does not work. It was reintroduced in 2016.

Achieved

 

3.3

Extend the metropolitan Our Water Our Future behavioural change program until 2015

Target 155 is a voluntary water-efficiency program to encourage metropolitan Melbourne householders to limit their consumption to 155 L a person a day. The program was discontinued in 2010 and reintroduced in 2016.

Achieved

Ongoing

3.4

Introduce on-the-spot fines for breaching water restrictions or permanent water-saving rules

The action supported enhanced water efficiency. The ability to issue penalty infringement notices for breaching water restrictions was introduced in 2007 through the Water Act Amendment (Enforcement and Other Matters) Act 2007. Further reform of the compliance regime was considered in the Water Bill 2014 but the government did not pursue it.

Achieved

Jun-07

3.5

Reform the water component of the 5-star standard for buildings

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in new buildings. All new homes, home renovations, additions, alterations and relocations must now comply with the 6-star standard, which among other things requires the installation of a solar hot water system or a rainwater tank for toilet flushing.

Achieved

Date not available

3.6

Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme

The action contributed to more-efficient residential water use. The scheme was reviewed in 2015 and found to be effective. The scheme's website explains how it works.

Achieved

Ongoing

3.7

Trial of smart water meters

South East Water trialled AquaTrip, a water use monitoring device, in 2014–15.

Achieved

Date not available

3.8

Continue to support the Smart Water Fund

After water corporations reviewed this fund, it no longer invested in new projects and ceased operations in December 2017.

Achieved

Dec-17

3.9

Extend the Water Smart Homes and Gardens Rebates scheme for a further four years

The action contributed to more-efficient water use. Rebates for water-efficient appliances were maintained and extended in 2010 to small businesses and non-reticulated households. In 2015, the focus changed to vulnerable and hardship customers.

Achieved

Jun-14

3.10

Distribute about 160,000 water-efficient showerheads over the next three years

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in the region. Since 2006, over 550,000 showerheads across Victoria have been replaced with water-efficient models, mostly in Melbourne.

Achieved

Over several years

3.11

Develop a web-based ready-reckoner to help home owners choose water-saving options

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in the region. Ready-reckoners were developed and now appear as tips for saving water on the major water corporation websites.

Achieved

Date not available

3.12

Continue the Sustainable Water Efficiency Program for schools

The action contributed to more-efficient water use. The Schools Water Efficiency Program started in 2006. The government allocated $3 million to fund phase 2 of the program in 2011. The government has continued the program as part of its continued water-efficiency program. The program won a United Nations Environment Day award in 2014. As of April 2018, the 1,031 participating schools have saved 5.2 GL of water which equates to $15.5 million in water and sewerage-related charges.

Achieved

Ongoing

3.13

Extend the Pathways to Sustainability program throughout the region

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in the region. The program worked with Melbourne's top 200 water users to reduce their consumption by 6 GL between 2001–02 and 2007. The WaterMAP program built on the success of the program between 2007 and 2010–11, working with thousands of Victorian businesses to achieve 17 GL of water savings. After a 2011 statewide review of water restrictions and permanent water-saving rules, a voluntary WaterMAP program for all non-residential customers (5 ML/year or greater water use) was introduced.

Achieved

Date not available

3.14

Explore alternative pricing options for industry and investigate how to develop water markets that could be open to large industrial water users

The action helped to explore ways to maximise flexibility for water sharing across the region. Investigations were conducted into pricing and development of a water market but were not pursued. Water for Victoria supports greater development of the south-central water grid to further support water-sharing opportunities through a trail commenced in 2017.

Achieved

Ongoing

3.15

Water authorities to report annually to the Minister for Water on large, non-residential water users

The action improved transparency regarding non-residential water users. Water corporations report on large, non-residential water users in their annual reports.

Achieved

Ongoing

3.16

Water authorities to set new recycling targets

Recycling targets were implemented through water supply demand strategies for each water corporation. The targets were exceeded.

Achieved

Date not available

3.17

Water authorities to mandate dual-pipe systems for suitable areas

The action helped to enhance the use of alternative sources of water and to improve water supply reliability. This was achieved by revising the definition of water in the Water Act 1989 and with Clause 56.07 of the Victoria Planning Provisions for new residential subdivisions. Several dual-pipe estates were developed in Melbourne including at Dandenong, West Werribee, Epping and Sandhurst. Opportunities to include recycled water in the forward servicing strategy for new urban growth corridors are being assessed.

Achieved

Oct-15

3.18

The Growth Areas Authority to promote water conservation and recycling in new developments in the growth areas of Melbourne

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in the region. Guidelines providing a step-by-step guide to preparing precinct structure plans were developed in 2009. These guidelines help integrate planning of new urban areas.

Achieved

Oct-09

3.19

Continue to research and explore aquifer storage and recovery opportunities

The action contributed to greater consideration of the use of groundwater systems for water storage. The Western Region SWS set out new groundwater policies including about managed aquifer recharge. Water corporations have undertaken managed aquifer recharge programs in the region.

Achieved

Over several years

3.20

Upgrade the Eastern Treatment Plant to Class A standard

The action helped to enhance the use of recycled water and improve water supply reliability in the region. The Eastern Treatment Plant was upgraded in 2012 to treat water to a Class A standard. The plant treats nearly half of Melbourne's sewage (330 ML a day).

Achieved

2012

3.21

Proceed to business case for the Eastern Water Recycling Proposal

The action helped to enhance the use of recycled water and improve water supply reliability in the region. The Eastern Water Recycling Proposal investigated piping recycled water from the Eastern Treatment Plant to the Latrobe Valley for use in power generation.

Achieved

Early 2000s

3.22

Continue to monitor the quality and volume of the ocean outfall at Boags Rocks

The action improved transparency. Melbourne Water publishes weekly statistics about water quality at the Boags Rocks outfall in accordance with its EPA licence.

Achieved

Ongoing

3.23

Expressions of interest for a portion of the 35,000 ML of recycled water available from the Western Treatment Plant

The action helped to enhance the use of recycled water and improve water supply reliability in the region. Melbourne Water now supplies recycled water from the Western Treatment Plant to the Werribee Park Tourism Precinct, the Werribee Irrigation District, the Werribee National Employment and Innovation Cluster and MacKillop College.

Achieved

Jul-17

3.24

Complete feasibility studies for large-scale stormwater reuse options, in particular at Dight's Falls (proceed to business case if appropriate)

The feasibility of large-scale stormwater reuse was investigated, and the options identified were not feasible due to technical and environmental constraints.

Achieved

Jun-07

3.25

Interconnect water supply systems and expand water markets in the Central Region

The action maximised flexibility for water sharing across the region. The North–South Pipeline and the Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline were built. This action was superseded by more-detailed actions in Our Water Our Future: The Next Stage of the Government's Water Plan in 2007, which fast-tracked big interconnection projects in the face of the worsening drought and the lowest three years of inflows on record.

Achieved

Over several years

3.26

Develop a governance framework to guide urban authorities participating in the water market

The action helped to build a framework to maximise flexibility for water sharing across the region. The existing governance framework for urban water authorities provides guidance and can be used to enhance governance for water markets as required. Water for Victoria includes actions to further trial water markets in the south-central part of the state, which incorporates the Central Region SWS area.

Achieved

Ongoing

3.27

Monitor the advances in desalination technology and complete a feasibility study for desalination options for Melbourne (proceed to business case if appropriate)

The action helped to ensure reliable and safe water supply in the region. This action was superseded by more-detailed actions in Our Water Our Future: The Next Stage of the Government's Water Plan in 2007, which fast-tracked actions related to desalination in the face of the worsening drought and the lowest three years of inflows on record. Consequently, the Victorian Desalination Project was built at Dalyston, near Wonthaggi. The plant can deliver up to 150 GL a year.

Achieved

2012

4.1

Reduce total per capita water consumption by 25% by 2015 and 30% by 2020

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in Greater Ballarat. Per capita water use in Ballarat fell from an average 501 L a person a day in the 1990s to 250 L in 2010–11, a 50% reduction.

Achieved

Jul-11

4.2

Implement a range of conservation and efficiency programs

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in Greater Ballarat. The Ballarat District Water Supply System Strategic Plan 2011-2060outlines previous, current and future demand reduction strategies.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.3

Substitute river water with recycled water in Lake Wendouree and for use by industry

The action helped to better manage water security for Greater Ballarat. After evaluating water supply substitution options for Lake Wendouree, in 2006 the Victorian Government allocated $7 million for water substitution, which began in the same year. The strategy resulted in reservoir water being substituted with an additional 1.9 GL on average a year from stormwater harvesting, recycling and diversions.

Achieved

2005–11

4.4

Interconnect Cosgrave Reservoir to White Swan Reservoir

The action maximised flexibility for water sharing. The Cosgrave – White Swan interconnection was completed in late 2006, to allow access to Central Highlands Water’s then unused entitlement. It enabled an additional supply of 495 ML to the Ballarat system in 2006–07 and 345 ML in 2007–08.

Achieved

2006

4.5

Interconnect Newlyn Reservoir to White Swan

The action maximised flexibility for water sharing. The Newlyn Reservoir — White Swan interconnection was completed in October 2017, to transfer unused entitlement in Newlyn directly into White Swan via the Cosgrave – White Swan interconnection. It enabled an additional supply of 200 ML to the Ballarat system in 2007–08.

Achieved

Oct-07

4.6

Interconnect to the Goulburn system (Waranga Channel)

The action maximised flexibility for water sharing. The Ballarat–Goulburn interconnection was completed ahead of schedule in May 2008. By the end of 2015–16, the pipeline had contributed more than 22 GL to the Ballarat system.

Achieved

May-08

4.7

Groundwater from Cardigan Aquifer

The action helped to better manager water security for Greater Ballarat. The Cardigan Aquifer project was completed in July 2007 and provided 2,200 ML to the Ballarat system in 2007–08, including water to substitute for river water in Lake Wendouree.

Achieved

Jul-07

4.8

Increase environmental flows in the Moorabool River by 6,000 ML by 2015

There is an ongoing commitment to recover further water for the Moorabool, but whether the full 6,000 ML can be recovered is unclear.

Partly achieved

Ongoing

4.8 a

Redirect the treated groundwater discharge from the Fyansford quarry to the lower Moorabool River

The action helped protect and improve river health. In 1980, the Moorabool River was diverted around the Batesford limestone quarry near Fyansford, and a concrete-lined diversion channelled installed to reroute the river and stop water infiltration. Despite these works, water still seeped into the quarry and was pumped directly out into Corio Bay. In June 2011, an agreement was reached to return this treated water to the river.

Achieved

Jun-11

4.8b

Transfer part of the water authorities' water entitlements in the west and lower Moorabool catchments to the environment

The action helped protect and improve river health. The Moorabool River Environmental Entitlement 2010 provides a 11.9% inflow and storage capacity share in Lal Lal Reservoir.

Achieved

Oct-10

4.8c

Voluntary buy-back scheme for unregulated surface water diversion licences in selected areas of the Moorabool catchment and transfer the water to the environment

DELWP are undertaking further investigations into the cost-benefit of the voluntary buy-back of unregulated licences program to recover water for the environment. Further investigations are underway by DELWP to determine water recovery options.

Partly achieved

Ongoing

4.9

Reduce total per capita water consumption by 25% by 2015 and 30% by 2020

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in Greater Geelong. Per capita water use in Geelong fell in the mid-2000s from a 40-year average of about 470 L a person a day to about 270 L, a 42% reduction.

Achieved

Mar-12

4.10

Implement a range of conservation and efficiency measures

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in Greater Geelong. The Barwon Water Supply Demand Strategy 2012 to 2062outlines previous, current and future demand reduction strategies.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.11

Line the Wurdee Boluc Inlet Channel and Ballan Channel

The action contributed to reduce system losses and improved water quality. Reconstruction of sections of the two channels was completed in 2016.

Achieved

2016

4.12

Substitute river water with recycled water for on-site use at the Shell Refinery

The action helped to better manage water security for the Geelong Region. The Northern Water Plant, built adjacent to the Shell Refinery, provides the refinery with up to 2 GL of recycled water a year, reducing Geelong’s demand for drinking water and reducing the volume of water discharged to the ocean.

Achieved

Apr-13

4.13

Conduct an initial trial of aquifer storage and recovery

Barwon Water completed its Aquifer Storage and Recovery research program to investigate to investigate options for storage and recovery. The volumes in the CRSWS of 2,700 ML/y by 2030 and 12,500 ML/y in 2055 will need to be reviewed and not automatically carried forward to the next SWS.

Achieved

Mar-12

4.14

Feasibility study of groundwater resource at Newlingrook aquifer and possible Melbourne–Geelong connection

The Newlingrook groundwater feasibility study concluded the option was costly and lacked community support. The Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline was successfully constructed as an Our Water Our Future initiative in 2007, reducing the need to identify new water sources.

Achieved

Dec-12

4.15

Entitlement for the use of the Jan Juc deep aquifer

The action ensured a reliable and safe water supply to increase water supply options for Greater Geelong. Barwon Water was granted an entitlement to access Anglesea groundwater in 2009.

Achieved

Jun-09

4.16

Reinstate the Dewing Creek diversion into the Wurdee Boluc Inlet Channel

The Dewing Creek diversion weir was reinstated.

Achieved

No date available

4.17

Increase environmental flows in the Barwon River by 4,700 ML by 2015

Treated groundwater outflows from the Fyansford quarry were modified to discharge via the lower Moorabool benefiting the lower Barwon (1,700 ML). Part of the treated discharge from the Ballarat South Wastewater Treatment Plant was released as environmental flows into Leigh Creek and the Barwon (2,000 ML) plus a 1 GL transfer of water to the environment was completed in 2018 as a result of supply augmentations for Geelong.

Achieved

2018

4.17 a

Continue release of part of the discharge from the South Ballarat Treatment Plant for environmental flows in the Leigh/Barwon rivers

The action helped protect and improve river health. Recycled water is being discharged into the Barwon system. 28,091 ML was discharged in 2013–14 and 27,507 ML in 2014–15.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.17 b

Transfer part of water authorities water entitlements in the West Barwon Reservoir to the environment

The intention of this action was to protect and improve river health. The creation of the Upper Barwon River Environmental Entitlement 2018 was completed in April2018. It providesa long-term average of 1 GL a year of water for the environmentthrough a 3.8% share of inflows and 2 GL storage capacity share of West Barwon Reservoir.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.18

Reduce total per capita water consumption by 25% by 2015 and 30% by 2020

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in Inner West. Between 2003–04 and 2015–16, drinking water consumption per person decreased by 27%, despite rapid population growth in the area.

Achieved

Jul-17

4.19

Implement a range of conservation and efficiency measures

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in Inner West. The Western Water Urban Water Strategy 2017 outlines previous, current and future demand reduction strategies.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.20

Substitute recycled water for non-potable uses in new residential and commercial developments in Eynesbury and Melton South

The action helped to reduce the risk of shortfalls. In 2016–17, the number of properties with recycled water services grew by 4% over the previous year, mostly in new developments around Melton and Sunbury.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.21

Increase the use of recycled water from local treatment plants

The action helped to reduce the risk of shortfalls. Between the 2012 and 2017 financial years, Western Water increased its production of recycled water from 7,544 ML to 12,170 ML, and increased the use of this water from 56% to 72%.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.22

Continue to investigate opportunities to substitute river water for recycled water in irrigation areas in the Werribee catchment

The action contributed to greater consideration of recycled water for environmental flows in other strategies. The Western Water Urban Water Strategy 2017 includes a medium-term action — SA20 — to investigate the feasibility of delivering a benefit through the substitution of river water for treated wastewater.

Partly achieved

Ongoing

4.23

Upgrade the existing Melbourne-Inner West connection and purchase additional water rights from the Melbourne pool

The action maximised flexibility for water sharing and ensured a reliable, safe water supply. Western Water made connections to the Melbourne system in 2004 and has an entitlement — in Bulk Entitlement (Greater Yarra System - Thomson River Pool ­Western Water) Order 2014 — to 18,250 ML in the Melbourne system.

Achieved

2004, June 2014

4.24

Transfer 50% of the unallocated inflows in Lake Merrimu to Western Water

This action was explored and water was temporarily made available to Western Water to meet critical demand. A reduced catchment yield has changed the viability of the transfer. DEWLP continues to explore the best options for allocation of the remaining water from Merrimu Reservoir.

Not yet achieved

Ongoing

4.25

Develop a wellfield between Romsey and Lancefield

The action ensured a reliable, safe water supply. The Romsey-Lancefield bore field was completed in 2013 and supplied 10% of Romsey's drinking water in the 2014 financial year.

Achieved

Nov-13

4.26

Purchase additional entitlements from Pykes Creek Reservoir

This action was to help secure water supplies for Western Water. Action MR1 in the Western Water Urban Water Strategy 2017 is to continue to pursue the purchase of additional entitlements from Pykes Creek Reservoir to supplement alternate supplies from the Melbourne system.

Not yet achieved

Ongoing

4.27

Increase storage capacity in the Romsey/Lancefield system

The action ensured reliable and safe water supply. The increased storage was provided by access to groundwater (see action 4.25).

Achieved

Nov-13

4.28

Increase environmental flows in the Werribee River by 6,000 ML by 2015

The intention of this action was to protect and improve river health. The Werribee River Environmental Entitlement 2014 provides a 10% share of inflows into Lake Merrimu to be used to improve environmental outcomes in the Werribee River. Actions are ongoing for other water recovery options.

Partly achieved

May 2014, ongoing

4.28 a

Pipe the Werribee Irrigation District and transfer the water saved for environmental flows in the Werribee River

Three of the five construction phases are funded for completion with an agreed one-third of verified water savings going to the environment. DELWP and Southern Rural Water are continuing to pursue other opportunities for funding the remaining construction stages. Implementation of the Werribee Irrigation District Modernisation project has commenced.

Not yet achieved

Ongoing

4.28b

Substitute river water with recycled water in the Werribee Tourist Precinct to free up water for environmental flows in the Werribee River

The action helped protect and improve river health. Recycled water is now supplied to the Werribee Park Tourist Precinct: in the 2017 financial year, Melbourne Water supplied the precinct with 121 ML.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.28c

Transfer 50% of the unallocated inflows in Lake Merrimu as an environmental entitlement for the Werribee River

The action helped protect and improve river health. The Werribee River Environmental Entitlement was created in 2014. Environmental flows in the Werribee system consist of a share of flow, rather than a held entitlement.

Achieved

May-14

4.29

Increase environmental flows in the Maribyrnong River by 3,000 ML by 2015

This action is recommitted through Water for Victoria action 3.5. The Healthy Waterways Strategy for the Melbourne Water catchments is expected to be released in 2018 and may include consideration of updated flow studies for key catchments such as the Maribyrnong, with proposed water recovery targets.

Not yet achieved

Ongoing

4.29 a

Transfer part of Western Water’s Rosslynne Reservoir entitlement to the environment

Actions such as transferring water from Rosslynne Reservoir to the environment should be reviewed pending updated flow studies.

Not yet achieved

Ongoing

4.29b

Voluntary buy-back scheme for unregulated surface water diversion licences in selected areas of the Maribyrnong catchment and regulated diversion licences on Jacksons Creek to retire the licences and transfer the water to the environment

DELWP are undertaking further investigations into the cost-benefit of the voluntary buy-back of unregulated licences program to recover water for the environment.

Not yet achieved

Ongoing

4.29c

Transfer part of Western Water’s Barringo Creek entitlement to the environment

Actions such as transferring water from Baringo Creek to the environment should be reviewed pending updated flow studies.

Not yet achieved

Ongoing

4.30

Reduce total per capita water consumption by 25% by 2015 and 30% by 2020

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in Greater Melbourne. In 2016–17, per capita residential water consumption in Melbourne was 161 L a person a day and total water consumption was 1,170 ML, compared to 1,475 ML at the peak of consumption in 1997. This equates to a 26% reduction in water use.

Achieved

Jul-15

4.31

Maintain existing water savings (350,000 water-efficient gardens and work with 140,000 householders)

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in Greater Melbourne. The Victorian Government continued to emphasise the importance of efficient use of water around the house and garden through the purchase and installation of rainwater tanks through the new Living Victoria Water Rebate Program (1 July 2012 to 30 June 2015). Target 155 was first introduced during the Millennium Drought, was replaced with other water-saving initiatives when it ended and was reactivated in March 2016.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.32

Implement conservation and efficiency programs (water-efficient showerhead program; water-efficient washing machine program; water-efficient evaporative air conditioners)

The action contributed to more-efficient residential water use in Greater Melbourne, where consumption fell from 188 L per person a day in 2006–07 to 161 L in 2016–17. Water conservation and efficiency initiatives included the Living Victoria Water Rebate Program and showerhead exchange schemes. Cities and towns across Victoria also had water restrictions. The 2017 Melbourne Water System Strategy also includes water-efficiency initiatives. Non-residential water conservation and efficiency initiatives included the Schools Water Efficiency Program and the WaterMAP program.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.33

Continue to manage the water distribution system efficiently and reduce leakage

The action contributed to ongoing investments in efficiency and to reduce system losses. Melbourne's water retailers continue to invest in leak detection and investigation programs. For example, in 2014–15 Yarra Valley Water program saved 4 GL and South East Water saved 767 ML.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.34

Expand the Pathways to Sustainability program and implement other programs to achieve the non-residential conservation target

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in Greater Melbourne. Outcomes for this action are reported under action 3.13.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.35

Implement efficiency measures in irrigation systems within the Yarra catchments

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in Greater Melbourne. Melbourne Water installed remote-access data loggers on many diverter customers’ water meters. Uses for the data include checking compliance with restrictions and bans, and irrigators can use it to manage farm irrigation.

Achieved

2010

4.36

Invest in local water recycling and reuse schemes

The action helped to reduce the risk of shortfalls. The region’s water companies report annually on recycled water, stormwater and dual-pipe initiatives. For example, in 2014–15 Melbourne Water issued 38 stormwater harvesting licences totalling 2,008 ML, and it delivered 46.6 ML of recycled water for non-drinking purposes. In 2012, an estimated 28% of Melbourne households had rainwater tanks. Melbourne Water’sStormwater Strategy 2013–18 notes actions to manage and harvest stormwater. Melbourne Water is currently reviewing the strategy.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.37

Establish an industry working group to investigate opportunities to reuse and recycle 30,000 ML of local water sources

The action helped to reduce the risk of shortfalls and ensured a reliable and safe water supply. A formal committee was not established. However, the task is assessed as complete as the region’s water companies have pursued local reuse and recycling initiatives related to local water sources.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.38

Business cases will be completed for the Eastern Water Recycling Proposal, desalination options and stormwater reuse options

The action helped to reduce the risk of shortfalls. Outcomes for this action are reported under actions 3.21, 3.24 and 3.27.

Achieved

Date not available

4.39

Meet the scientific flow recommendations in the Yarra River by 2007

The action helped protect and improve river health. All rivers in the Central Region have PCVs, and bulk entitlements include provisions for passing flows. The Yarra Environmental Entitlement 2006 entitles the environment to 17 GL a year.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.39 a

Reduce the cap on entitlements in the Yarra River and establish an environmental entitlement of 17,000 ML

The action helped protect and improve river health. The Yarra Environmental Entitlement 2006 entitles the environment to 17 GL a year.

Achieved

Oct-06

4.40

Investigate 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. In 2013, a more-detailed report was completed on four, high-priority billabong sites. Billabong watering is now a priority watering action to achieve environmental objectives in the Yarra system. Melbourne Water also waters floodplain wetlands. For example, in 2014 water for the environment was delivered to the Yering Backswamp via the Maroondah Aqueduct.

Achieved

Jul-15

4.41

Increase environmental flows in the Tarago/Bunyip rivers by 3,000 ML by end 2006

The action helped protect and improve river health. The Tarago and Bunyip Environmental Entitlement 2009 provides 3 GL of storage and 10.3 % share of flows.

Achieved

Mar-09

4.41 a

Create an environmental entitlement for the Bunyip/Tarago Rivers

The action helped protect and improve river health. The outcome for this action is reported under action 4.41.

Achieved

Mar-09

4.41b

Conduct a scientific study of the flow requirements of the Bunyip / Tarago rivers

The environmental flow determination for the Bunyip / Tarago rivers was completed in 2007.

Achieved

Apr-07

4.42

Establish benchmarks and refine conservation targets for total water use (excluding major industry)

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in West Gippsland. The Gippsland Water Water Supply Demand Strategy 2012 noted progress made on all five actions relating to efficiency in the previous strategy. The Gippsland Water Urban Water Strategy 2017 includes ongoing efficiency actions.

Achieved

2007, ongoing

4.43

Develop a separate target for major industry, based on industry best practice

The action contributed to greater consideration of industry efficiency targets in other strategies. The Gippsland Water Water Supply Demand Strategy 2012 reported progress on its commitment to work with industry to achieve a 15% saving in water used by 2020.

Achieved

2012

4.44

Implement conservation and efficiency programs, including replacing the water turbine pump from Blue Rock Reservoir to Moondarra with an electric pump

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in West Gippsland. Gippsland Water has installed an electric pump at Blue Rock Reservoir and continues to implement conservation and efficiency measures.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.45

Complete Stage 1 of the Gippsland Water Factory to enable the substitution of river water with recycled water for industry

The action helped to reduce the risk of shortfalls. The Gippsland Water Factory, which started operating in January 2013, treats up to 35 ML of wastewater a day from nine towns in central Gippsland, serving the needs of more than 48,000 domestic customers and 300 local businesses.

Achieved

Jan-13

4.46

Future water available from the Eastern Water Recycling Proposal, Stage 2 of the Gippsland Water Factory or groundwater

The action helped to reduce the risk of shortfalls. Gippsland Water has a total share of Blue Rock Lake of 17.08% in the Bulk Entitlement (Gippsland Water - Blue Rock) Conversion Order 1997.

Achieved

2010

4.47

Increase environmental flows in the Latrobe River by 10,000 ML by 2006 for seven years

The action helped protect and improve river health. The Blue Rock Environmental Entitlement 2013 provides a 9.45% inflow and storage capacity share equivalent to a modelled, annual, long-term average of 10 GL. This action was achieved through the Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy.

Achieved

Jul-13

4.47 a

Temporarily transfer part of the unallocated share of Blue Rock Reservoir and unallocated entitlements in Lake Narracan to provide 10,000 ML of water a year for flows (for seven years) in the Latrobe River

The outcome for this action is reported under action 4.47.

Achieved

Jul-13

4.47b

Conduct a seven-year research program on the Latrobe River to confirm the flow requirements and necessary complementary works

This action was achieved through the Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy.

Achieved

2014

4.48

Increase environmental flows in the Thomson/Macalister River by 15,000 ML by 2012

The action helped protect and improve river health. The Macalister River target has been exceeded with 12,460 ML of high-reliability water and 6,229 ML of low-reliability water transferred to the environment through the Macalister River Environmental Entitlement 2010. The Thomson River water recovery target has not been met and has been transferred to the Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy. A 2017 amendment to the Bulk entitlement (Thomson River-Environment) Order 2005 provides an additional 8 GL a year for the environment through a 3.9% share of inflows and additional 8 GL of storage capacity in Thomson Reservoir.

Achieved

May-17

4.48 a

Continue to invest in channel automation technology in the MID and progressively transfer the water saved (15,000 ML) to the Thomson and Macalister Rivers

Modernisation of the Macalister Irrigation District is continuing, and water savings sourced from the Macalister modernisation projects have been used to deliver environmental benefits. Information about completed and progressing projects can be found on the Southern Rural Water website.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.49

Reduce total per capita water consumption (excluding major industry) by 25% by 2015 and 30% by 2020

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in Western Port. Westernport Water has reduced per capita water use since the 1990s by 47%.

Achieved

Date not available

4.5

Implement conservation and efficiency programs

The action contributed to more-efficient water use in Western Port. Westernport Water’s water conservation and efficiency measures implemented since 2006 include permanent water-saving rules, community education, water audits and rebate programs. The Westernport Water Urban Water Strategy 2017 includes conservation and efficiency actions including leakage detection and education and community awareness programs.

Achieved

Ongoing

4.51

Increase use of recycled water from the Cowes Wastewater Treatment Plant and Westernport Water’s purification plant

The action helped to reduce the risk of shortfalls. The Philip Island Recycled Water Scheme was commissioned in 2012. Reuse of water from the Cowes Wastewater Treatment Plant increased from 3% in 2011–12 to 5% in 2014–15.

Achieved

2012, ongoing

4.52

Comparative 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 system

The action ensured reliable and safe water supply. The Candowie Reserve upgrade was completed in 2013 and has a bulk water entitlement of 1 GL to the Melbourne system — the Bulk Entitlement (Greater Yarra System - Thomson Pool - Westernport Water) Order 2014. The Corinella Aquifer is included in the supply system. The Bass River to Candowie interconnection has been completed and supplies established from the Corinella Aquifer. These augmentations were brought forward in the face of worsening drought conditions.

Achieved

Over several years

4.53

Investigate a range of long-term augmentation options, including an interconnection with: the Bass River; groundwater bores near the Candowie Reservoir; Corinella Aquifer; the Melbourne supply system; and aquifer storage and recovery using the Wonthaggi coal mine

The action ensured reliable and safe water supply. The Candowie Reservoir was upgraded in in 2013. Westernport Water has access to 1 GL of water in the Melbourne system — the Bulk Entitlement (Greater Yarra System - Thomson Pool - Westernport Water) Order 2014.

Achieved

Over several years

5.1

Specify in water authorities’ and catchment management authorities’ statements of obligations a requirement to deliver strategy projects and services

The action enhanced transparency and shared responsibility among organisations. Statements of obligations for water corporations issued in 2015 refer to SWSs. Statements for CMAs issued in 2007 refer to the preparation, but not implementation, of strategies.

Achieved

2015

5.2

Water authorities will ensure they can provide safe reliable water supplies and conserve water and secure water supplies for the future

The action contributed to more-efficient water use and to ensure reliable and safe water supply. Regional urban water corporations deliver the action through water supply demand strategies. For example, see the Barwon Water Water Supply Demand Strategy 2012 to 2062. A WSDS for Melbourne was released in 2006 to address the action but it was not renewed in 2012. Water corporations’ statements of obligation require them to prepare an urban water strategy or the Melbourne Water System Strategy, which address continuing implementation of the action. Water corporations must comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 and its regulations.

Achieved

Ongoing

5.3

Catchment management authorities will manage the environmental water reserve to optimise environmental outcomes and provide for healthy rivers

The action helps to protect and improve river health. The VEWH was created in 2011 to manage environmental water in partnership with CMAs. Its seasonal watering plan shows the potential environmental watering that could occur during the year in each waterway system using water available under all environmental water entitlements held in Victoria. Day-to-day, CMAs manage environmental water at the system level.

Achieved

Ongoing

5.4

Provide funding to support sustainable water management and improve river health

The action helped to ensure reliable and safe water supply and to protect and improve river health. There is strong, ongoing investment in sustainable water management in Victoria. For example, between 2004–05 and 2013–14, $70.1 million was invested in environmental water planning and management and $149.8 million in waterway health.

Achieved

Ongoing

5.5

Continue to monitor and improve understanding of river health

The action improves transparency and helps to protect and improve river health. The Third Index of Stream Condition was published in 2010. The Water Measurement Information System maintains up-to-date records of water quantity and quality. The Victorian Environmental Flows Monitoring and Assessment Program was established in 2005 to monitor and assess ecosystem responses to environmental watering.

Achieved

Ongoing

5.6

Continue to monitor groundwater and examine opportunities to expand coverage to include groundwater-dependent ecosystems and rivers/wetlands

The action helps to manage risk and uncertainty and to protect groundwater. Groundwater is monitored through a system of statewide bores. Real-time data can be accessed online through the Water Measurement Information System. Work continues to understand the distribution, condition and environmental values of GDEs, particularly those of high environmental value and at high risk from groundwater extraction.

Achieved

Ongoing

5.7

Continue to implement and improve existing water accounting system

The action improved transparency. The Victorian Water Accounts are published annually and available online.

Achieved

Ongoing

5.8

Continue to monitor water consumption and population trends to enable comparison with forecasts

The action helps to manage risk and uncertainty and reduce the risk of shortfalls. Water corporations monitor water consumption trends and population growth impacts on water demand and report in their annual reports, plans and strategic documents.

Achieved

Ongoing

5.9

Maintain water supply models across the region and upgrade where necessary

The action helps to manage risk and uncertainty and reduce the risk of shortfalls. Melbourne Water and DELWP have resource allocation models and have procedures to maintain them.

Achieved

Ongoing

5.10

Monitor results of climate change studies occurring nationally and internationally

The action helps to manage risk and uncertainty and reduce the risk of shortfalls. Stage II of the South Eastern Australian Climate initiative was completed in 2012. In 2013, DELWP, the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO launched the Victorian Climate Initiative to provide guidance about climate variability, predictability and change. The initiative builds on the work of the South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative and aims to understand how climate has changed and is likely to change in the future, and to improve understanding of our ability to predict climate at seasonal scales.

Achieved

Ongoing

5.11

Establish a system to monitor and report on progress in achieving greenhouse neutrality

Action 2.1 of Water for Victoria sets the objective of net-zero emissions in the water sector. This is implemented through the March 2018 Statement of Obligations (Emission Reduction), and it includes monitoring and reporting targets.

Achieved

2018

5.12

Improve demand modelling and forecasting ability

The action helps to manage risk and uncertainty and reduce the risk of shortfalls. Demand modelling has been improved as part of developing water supply demand strategies.

Achieved

Ongoing

5.13

Investigate whether the adoption of water conservation measures reduces the effectiveness of water restrictions during drought periods

The action helps to manage risk and uncertainty and reduce the risk of shortfalls. While there was no study specifically of demand hardening, the 2011 review of water restrictions in Victoria considered the issue and recommended water corporations take an adaptive approach to demand estimation. The 2011 Guidelines for the Development of a Water Supply Demand Strategy allowed for such an adaptive approach.

Achieved

Ongoing

5.14

Review and enhance the methodology behind environmental flow studies

The action helps to protect and improve river health. The original FLOWS method was implemented in 2002, and Flows - a method for determining environmental water requirements in Victoria, Edition 2 was published in 2013. The updated method drew on experience managing waterways through the Millennium Drought.

Achieved

Ongoing

5.15

Improve understanding of the impacts on rainfall and streamflow of interactions between the El Niño -Southern Oscillation and fluctuations in the Indian Ocean

The action helps to manage risk and uncertainty and reduce the risk of shortfalls. As explained under action 5.10, Stage II of the South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative was completed in 2012. In 2013, DELWP, the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO launched the Victorian Climate Initiative.

Achieved

Ongoing