Sharing our water

We carry out long-term water resource assessments to examine how water availability and waterway health has changed. These assessments provide a clear picture of water supplies in the region as well as the health of waterways.

The assessments are used to update and guide water planning, including how water is shared.

A draft assessment completed recently found that:
  • less water is now available for cities, towns, farms, industry and the environment
  • all water users have been affected, but in some basins, rivers have had more of a decline than water for consumptive demands – cities, towns and farms.
  • the main cause of the decline is drier conditions, and this trend is likely to continue because of climate change

The assessment found that long-term surface water availability is now less than when it was last estimated for the sustainable water strategies. The declines in surface water availability ranged from 4% in the Otway Coast, to 21% in Lake Corangamite.

The Government anticipated drying conditions and has worked closely with water corporations and other stakeholders to secure water supplies through actions such as expanding the water grid, building the desalination plant, increasing recycled water use and modernising irrigation districts.

Water available for the environment has declined in all basins except the Otway Coast. In the Central Region, the environment’s share is up to 8% less than previously calculated, despite water being redirected to the environment. This suggests that water-sharing arrangements in the Central Region may need to be reviewed as part of the development of a new Sustainable Water Strategy.

The Government is using this assessment to plan for the next 50 years as it begins work on the new Central and Gippsland Sustainable Water Strategy.

The Victorian Government is conducting an open consultation process to consider the views of the community.

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Project Manager for the Long-Term Water Resource Assessment