Victoria releases water roadmap
The Victorian Government has released its first ‘Living Melbourne, Living Victoria’ roadmap for urban water usage and reform.
The report, published by the Ministerial Advisory Council, recommends eight key proposals, including;
- An agreed vision for the contribution of water to urban livability, through protection from flooding, improving the health of urban waterways and supporting green landscapes.
- Greater customer choice and innovation in water products on offer, the water charges they pay and their level of service.
- Improved integration of urban and water planning through planning and building regulations that facilitate integrated water cycle management.
- Optimised use of all available water sources, including fit-for-purpose alternative water supplies.
- Better environmental and public health outcomes supported by clear regulations to ensure both customers and the environment are protected.
- A common approach to the economic evaluation of water projects to ensure broader benefits, such as downstream water quality and reduced risk of flooding, are recognised.
- Approaches to pricing that recognise the value of the water resource and reward customers for conserving water.
- Strengthened institutional and governance arrangements to hold service providers to account for their performance.
The report summarizes ‘key findings’ of Council and outlines ‘strategic reform priorities’ for the water sector in the state, outlining the following reform goals:
- establish Victoria as a world leader in liveable cities and integrated water cycle management
- drive generational change in how Melbourne uses rainwater, stormwater and recycled water
- drive integrated projects and developments in Melbourne and regional cities to use stormwater, rainwater and recycled water to provide Victoria’s next major water augmentation.
The report outlines a ‘number of key challenges’ that will be faced by Victoria in the water sector in the coming years:
- a rapidly growing population
- the changing urban form needed to accommodate more and more people
- increased climate risk and variability
- valuing and using water in a way that fully supports the continued development of Melbourne as a great place to live, work and play
- growing community concern about the rising costs of water.
The full report is available here