Quality water sources are essential for the health of our cities. Victoria has faced water scarcity and can share what it has learnt to future-proof water for urban areas, industry and agriculture.Lush green plants planted in rows, row of sprinklers spraying water from poles stretches across the image, mountains can be seen in the distance

Victoria is a recognised leader in managing water scarcity and has some of the best quality drinking water in the world.  It's not surprising that our water expertise is in demand as other countries also face the impacts of climate change and related water scarcity.

Over recent decades, Victoria’s climate has become drier and warmer. From 1997 to 2009 - 13 long years - Victoria experienced very dry conditions, known as the Millennium Drought. During this time, Melbourne water storages dropped from almost full to two-thirds empty in three and a half years. Since then, we have invested significantly to reform our water sector and build infrastructure to increase productivity and ensure the health of river and groundwater systems.

Victoria is recognised for its strong regulatory framework that protects public health and the environment; well-established and transparent institutions and pricing arrangements; understanding of water availability and climate dependence; water efficiency and world-class infrastructure; and formal water entitlement framework, including a water trading system and water markets.

Victoria is a world leader in innovative water management, with capabilities in:

Water management, planning and policy – long-term planning, policy development, collaboration with academia and industry and community engagement

Water markets and efficiency - efficient sharing of water between competing uses and jurisdictions via improved governance and regulation

Water sensitive urban design - embedding resilience for water excess and scarcity into the design of buildings and precincts

Water quality and treatment – technologies to treat, filter or desalinate water to safe standards for drinking or grey water use

Water solutions for the developing world – low cost, low maintenance water treatment and storage solutions for use in aid/development projects

Smart irrigation - irrigation modernisation - advanced remote-control hardware and software to enable higher value agriculture while using less water, labour and energy

Water modelling and data management – analysis of water resources, and hydrodynamic and ecological modelling of catchments to support proactive water management

River basin management

Optimisation of water utilities – engineering and software solutions for water monitoring and controls, utility operations, and customer management

Victoria’s water sector is:

Integrated – Our industry specialises in integrated water management to retain liveable cities and towns in a drying climate with a growing population.  

High quality – Victoria has some of the cleanest drinking water in the world.  Victoria has established technology and systems in place to monitor not only drinking water quality from catchments but also rivers and bays.

Efficient – Victoria’s water corporations are experts in managing water scarcity. With a well-established water market and water trading system, Victoria’s water sector is efficient and continues to innovate.

Resilient – Victoria is preparing for more frequent extreme weather events – droughts and floods.  We've invested in state of the art climate modelling, a Desalination Plant to diversify our water sources and a water grid with connected pipelines that enable water to be moved across the state to where its needed most.

Inclusive – Victoria’s Water corporations have gender diverse boards and engage deeply with their communities.

Victoria's success

We have:

  • Built a desalination plant
  • Created the Victorian Water Register of all water entitlements in Victoria
  • Increased the amount of wastewater treated and recycled
  • Invested heavily in more efficient irrigation systems to reduce water loss
  • Created a connected water grid across most of the state
  • Created a water market which allows water entitlements and seasonal allocations to be bought and sold
  • Increased stormwater recycling in new industrial, commercial and residential developments
  • Invested in climate change and rainfall modelling
  • Engaged and educated the community on the scarcity of water and careful water use
  • Introduced an Environmental Contribution levy to fund waterway health and sustainable water management
  • Introduced Integrated Water Management forums, to enable collaboration across government agencies for liveability outcomes

Page last updated: 17/01/20