State enters water talks
The Victorian Government has partnered with Traditional Owners on a new water strategy.
The draft plan for the Central and Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy aims to secure Victoria’s water future, meet the challenges of a warmer and drier climate, and meet the demands of population growth.
The plan includes a proposal to increase Traditional Owner access to water entitlements, with a focus on preserving and boosting water supplies.
Importantly, the Strategy outlines options that mean no water will be taken from existing entitlement holders.
“This is the first time we have partnered with Traditional Owners in developing a Sustainable Water Strategy, continuing our commitment to increase cultural access to water,” Victoria’s Minister for Water Lisa Neville says.
The plan seeks to explore other strategies that speak to Victoria’s increasingly drier climate. It includes considerations such as:
Increasing the use of recycled water for non-drinking purposes
Saving more water across households, industry, agriculture, sporting fields, parks and gardens
Strengthening the water grid through increasing capacity of the Melbourne Geelong interconnector
A regional-scale stormwater harvesting system at Sunbury
Using more recycled water for irrigation in the region west of Melbourne to free up water for rivers and drinking supplies
Changing the maximum water-use target of 155 litres per person per day to 150 litres per person per day
“We need to meet the challenges of climate change and increased demand for water – our rivers need extra flows, we need to continue supporting agriculture, industry and jobs and ensure we have water for communities and recreational use,” Ms Neville says.
The Government is seeking public feedback on the Strategy to inform the final version of the plan.