Victoria’s Water Sector Planning For Sustainable Future

10 February 2017

Victoria’s water sector will further plan for population growth, climate change and a stronger future supported by clear new guidelines and direction set by the Andrews Labor Government.

The Labor Government’s vision set out in its plan – ­­Water for Victoria – is for a water sector that’s modern and efficient, innovative, customer focussed, and supports jobs right across Victoria.

Water for Victoria also requires Victoria’s water corporations to be leaders in combatting climate change and find ways to reach zero net emissions, with metropolitan water authorities to achieve this goal by 2030.

The sector will also adopt renewable energy use targets of at least 25 per cent by 2020.

While most of our water resources are already at their sustainable limits, climate change will further reduce rainfall and runoff as well as increase the frequency and duration of extreme events, such as drought, flood and bushfire.

To help deliver these goals, new climate change guidelines have been developed to provide water corporations with a set of climate projections and critical, up-to-date data and advice about how to assess the impact of climate change on water supplies.

Its estimated that by 2051 Victoria’s population will almost double and at the same time, under climate change scenarios, some parts of the state could face a reduction in stream flows of 50 per cent by 2065.

As well as combatting climate change, Victoria’s water planning framework also requires the development of Urban Water Strategies by water corporations – to set out strategies for securing water supplies over a 50 year timeframe. These are to include the following principles and actions:

  • maximise the shared benefits for all water users, without compromising the needs of the environment, agriculture, towns and businesses
  • identify actions for climate change adaptation, with the aim of achieving net zero emissions in the sector
  • adopt renewable energy use targets
  • encourage the sustainable use of all water resources – including rainwater, stormwater and recycled water
  • enhance the liveability of our cities and towns
  • ensure that the water needs of environmental assets are transparently considered
  • build capacity to increase Aboriginal participation in water management

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville

“As we deal with issues around climate change and population growth, we need to make sure our water management is planning for and prepared to meet these challenges now and for future generations.”

“We want our water corporations and the whole sector to help Victoria adapt to climate change to ensure we can continue to support jobs, liveable communities and a healthy environment.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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