Victorian Government releases urban water reform roadmap
The Victorian Government has released the Living Melbourne, Living Victoria roadmap which identifies priority areas of urban water reform.
The roadmap recommends eight key directions including:
- An agreed vision for the contribution of water to urban liveability, 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 Living Victoria Ministerial Advisory Council will build on the roadmap by delivering a detailed implementation plan.
Living Victoria Ministerial Advisory Council chair Mike Waller said that while the roadmap dealt specifically with Melbourne, the recommendations would help guide reform across Victoria’s cities and towns.
“The council has put forward a package of reforms to deliver a more resilient and adaptable water system for Melbourne, focusing on the need to diversify our water sources, empower customers and integrate urban planning with water planning,” Mr Waller said.
“By being smarter with how we use water we can continue to build a liveable, sustainable and productive Melbourne.”
The Living Melbourne, Living Victoria roadmap can be found on the Department of Sustainability and Environment’s website at www.water.vic.gov.au