Securing our water future: 50 year planning for the Central and Gippsland regions
This is an opportunity to align policy development, community engagement and set an agreed direction to meet future water security challenges.
In Victoria’s Central and Gippsland regions, planning to ensure we continue to meet future water security needs is delivered through two complementary processes:
- Central and Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy (CGRSWS): focuses on whole of community water needs including Traditional Owners, urban, agriculture, environment and recreation. The CGRSWS is prepared by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and considers a range of issues at a regional scale. They are renewed every ten years.
- Urban Water Strategies (UWS): focus on customer and community urban water needs for water supply and sewerage services. Each urban water corporation prepares a UWS for the area they service every 5 years.
Both the Sustainable Water Strategies and Urban Water Strategies have a 50-year planning horizon and are based on consistent information regarding population changes and climate change impacts on water supplies.
They both require comprehensive community and stakeholder engagement to understand community preferences and guide decision making.
- The CGRSWS set the broader direction and policy setting for the whole region
- Urban Water Strategies include more specific programs of action enabled by the policy direction in the CGRSWS
The two strategies work together to secure water for our community’s future needs.
Sustainable water strategies set out long term plans to secure future water resources at the regional scale and are reviewed on a ten-year cycle. They identify threats to water availability in each region and work out policies and actions to help the community, water users, water corporations and catchment management authorities respond to those threats over the next 50 years.
The service areas of:
Melbourne Water, Greater Western Water, Yarra, Valley Water, South Gippsland Water, Gippsland Water, Westernport Water, East Gippsland Water are covered by the CGSWS area. Central Highlands Water and Wannon Water also have water supply systems within the CGSWS area.
Sitting under the CGRSWS are water corporation’s Urban Water Strategies which outlines how to effectively manage the increasing demand for water and rising sewage volumes in the face of population growth and climate change.
These strategies identified more detailed and targeted plans to ensure water availability for the next 50 years. The strategies also include Drought Preparedness Plans which detail how water shortages will be managed.
Complimentary community and stakeholder engagement processes are taking place to inform UWSs and the CGRSWS.
In parallel with development of their UWS, most water businesses are developing pricing proposals for submission to the Essential Services Commission (ESC).
Developed on a 5-year cycle they identify how the services and service outcomes valued by customers will be delivered and the proposed costs. The submissions set out key strategies, projects, initiatives and operational requirements that impact future pricing.
The submissions take account of significant customer engagement to determine the willingness of customers to pay for water services at an agreed level of reliability.
The development of the UWSs must integrate with and inform the pricing submissions, which in turn must appropriately support UWS implementation.
Page last updated: 09/08/21