Community voices and ideas are coming to the table to help conceive and plan inventive water projects to help Victoria’s cities, towns and regions adjust to population growth and a future with less water.
The process includes planning for how to use all available water sources efficiently and manage sewerage and stormwater to create more sustainable living urban spaces for communities. People from local government, land and water management agencies and Traditional Owner groups have been meeting in forums to identify local challenges, and to plan, package and put into action important projects for their environment and communities.
Local voices central to Integrated Water Management
The Integrated Water Management Framework has been developed to help government, the community and the water sector work together to plan, manage and deliver water in Victoria’s towns and cities. The goal is to deliver greater community value and look at innovative solutions such as stormwater harvesting and recycled water.
We have created Integrated Water Management Forums across metropolitan and regional Victoria, placing local voices at the centre of decision making.
The forums bring water corporations, catchment management authorities, local government and Traditional Owner groups together to identify barriers, tackle problems, share ideas and develop a shared vision and priorities for their region to become more water resilient. Fourteen forums are now established and coming up with local projects, acknowledging regional differences and engaging with local stakeholders.
“Having been connected to School Water Efficiency Program for less than a month, it’s reasonable to say that we’ve saved the cost of the program already. It’s highlighted to us the importance of properly inspecting our facilities regularly“ John, Wodonga Senior Secondary School
Innovative water saving features in new developments
Victoria’s water corporations are working with developers to demonstrate the benefits of watersaving technologies. A stand-out example is Aquarevo, a unique collaboration between South East Water and Villawood Properties on a residential development in Lyndhurst, south-east of Melbourne, where homes will feature a range of unprecedented water savings features.
New homes at the site will be plumbed with three types of water — drinking, recycled, and rainwater — to show the possibilities for harnessing all available sources of water. Earthworks have started at the development and almost half the number of planned lots have been sold, with all released stages selling out almost immediately.
Investing in community assets
Projects underway across Victoria are demonstrating the benefits of Integrated Water Cycle Design, incorporating elements such as recycling water and stormwater harvesting into the design of parks and community spaces to achieve community and environmental benefits.
The Upper Stony Creek transformation project at Brimbank, in Melbourne’s west, is transforming a concrete drain into a more natural state and a community space, with walking paths, wetlands and a revegetated creek bed. Similarly, at the Eastbank Lake project in Shepparton, a stormwater harvesting and re-use system will provide a new and attractive community-focused area on a section of the Goulburn River, and use treated stormwater to irrigate local parks and gardens.