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Have Your Say on the next 50 years of water for Greater Melbourne

Everyone across Greater Melbourne is being encouraged to have their say on water security in the face of population growth, climate change and reduced rainfall following the release of the draft Greater Melbourne Urban Water and System Strategy: Water for Life.

Developed by Greater Western Water, Melbourne Water, South East Water and Yarra Valley Water, the strategy is a shared plan to ensure Greater Melbourne’s water needs continue to be met for the next 50 years.

Melbourne is consistently ranked one of the world’s most liveable cities, and water makes a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of our population and making our communities a great place to live, work and play.

The vision for the strategy and the criteria used to assess future options are a direct result of community consultation over the past year. Now the Greater Melbourne community can see how their feedback has shaped the draft strategy and have their say on the draft actions.

With drier conditions ahead and Melbourne’s population expected to almost double by 2070, this strategy will help prepare for less rainfall and increased demand on water supplies and infrastructure. No single solution can meet the challenges we face. We need to prepare for additional water supplies now so that a range of options can be ready when we need them.

The draft Greater Melbourne Urban Water and System Strategy: Water for Life provides a detailed view of how water corporations can deliver on policy directives in the Victorian Government’s Central and Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy discussion draft.

The sustainable water strategy considers the broader impacts of the challenges to water security for urban and regional communities, agriculture and Traditional Owners, and the health of our rivers and waterways across the entire Central and Gippsland region. 

Current modelling shows that to manage our water supply responsibly, and to keep storages at the levels required to avoid water restrictions, we will need new climate-resilient sources of water over the coming decades.

Even with the additional water regularly supplied from the Victorian Desalination Project, our existing network of dams is largely reliant on rainfall and to meet Greater Melbourne’s future water needs we will need additional supplies.

Investment in water efficiency and conservation efforts and integrated water management solutions such as optimising our existing network, increasing stormwater harvesting, use of recycled water and rainwater, will also play a critical role in providing a resilient water future.

The community is invited to provide feedback on the strategy by Wednesday 13 July at www.waterforlifestrategy.com.au

Quotes attributable to Yarra Valley Water Managing Director Pat McCafferty:

“Melbourne is the nation’s fastest growing city with Victoria’s population predicted to almost double by 2070, that’s why it’s important that we act now to ensure that there is enough water in future.”

“Our climate is changing, and we need to act so I urge everyone who lives in Greater Melbourne to have a say on the draft strategy and contribute to ensuring we have enough water for the next 50 years.”

“We need to adapt to our changing climate and increased demand for water – so we can continue supporting agriculture, industry and jobs while ensuring we have water for environmental, cultural and recreational use.”