Sustainable water strategies
Sustainable water strategies set out long-term plans to secure the water future of Victoria's regions. The strategies identify threats to water availability in each region and identify policies and actions to help water users, water corporations and catchment management authorities manage and respond to those threats over the next 50 years.
Four regional sustainable water strategies covering the state were produced between 2006 and 2011. The first strategies completed were the Central Region Sustainable Water Strategy in 2006 and the Northern Region SWS in 2009. The Gippsland Region SWS and the Western Region SWS were completed in November 2011.
Progress in Delivering the Sustainable Water Strategies
A total of 300 actions were identified in the four SWSs to enable the objectives of each strategy to be achieved. Implementation of actions have been the responsibility of DELWP, water corporations, catchment management authorities, the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, and partners and stakeholders.
A recent stocktake of SWS actions has identified that of these 300 actions, 239 are now complete. Of the remaining actions, 29 are ongoing and a further 32 will be implemented through other policies, mainly through the State's new Water plan, Water for Victoria and Victoria's implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
To be implemented through Basin Plan
To be implemented through Water for Victoria
Key areas of achievement for implemented actions include:
- improved approaches to groundwater management
- water conservation programs for homes, schools and communities
- infrastructure construction and/or upgrade
- water cycle management and resource planning
- environmental water recovery and management
- improved water markets
- Victorian and regional water management strategies development.
Due to changes in climatic conditions or policy and legislative settings since the release of the SWSs, some actions or subcomponents of actions may no longer be appropriate or relevant. These unresolved actions will be subject to a comprehensive review process.
Each SWS is required to be reviewed and renewed ten years after its release. The first of these reviews, for the Central Region SWS, is due to be undertaken in 2016-17. This review, in conjunction with the Victorian Water Plan implementation process, will consider all residual SWS actions in the context of statewide policy and planning implications. Actions still requiring implementation will be identified, reviewed and further action determined and planned for through this process.