24 February 2022

Goulburn Valley Water customers are encouraged to have their say on a draft strategy outlining how water and wastewater services and demands will be met now and in the future, in light of population growth and a drying climate

Every five years GVW develops its Urban Water Strategy, which forms part of a suite of plans locally and across the state to help secure our water future.

The draft will be available online for two weeks to give people a chance to have their say.

While water supplies are currently secure across our region, water use is likely to double over the next 50 years, with forecasts in our strategy showing that population growth and changes in our climate will contribute to higher levels of water use across our entire service area.

Water usage is linked to the amount of wastewater we also treat, so with rising levels of use we anticipate our wastewater treatment capacities will also need to be expanded in some areas, particularly in high-growth areas.

The strategy covers anticipated needs and requirements for the next 50 years, to ensure we have the right mix of actions in place to support the development of resilient and liveable communities now and into the future.

It assesses our water supplies and wastewater management for each of our 13 supply systems across our region, and identifies future water use requirements based on population growth, climate change and other variable factors.

Goulburn Valley Water Managing Director Steve Capewell said the Urban Water Strategy would help plan for future investment in water sources and supply infrastructure and wastewater management to ensure GWV can continue delivering safe, reliable and affordable water and wastewater services into the future.

“In the past 12 months, customers have told us how and why they value water, but we also heard their concerns about water availability in a drying climate and making sure we manage our supplies in a sustainable way,” Dr Capewell said.

“Some of the key actions in our strategy are set to address water security, like investing in securing the reliability of supplies for centres including Mansfield, Broadford and Kilmore, while we’ve also identified that increasing volumes of wastewater means we need to plan to increase our irrigation capacity to reuse additional recycled wastewater.”

A similar action in our 2017 strategy saw us build an additional water storage at Euroa to boost storage capacity and give us more flexibility in capturing and storing water in wetter winter months to help avoid water restrictions in the future.

The strategy also identifies actions to future proof supplies for Bonnie Doon, Pyalong, Kilmore, Broadford and more.

Customer feedback also formed a significant part of the strategy development, including understanding peoples’ values around water, preferences on the frequency and severity of water restrictions and preferences around infrastructure investment and water recycling.

“This is your chance to have your say on the draft strategy to make sure it accurately reflects the needs and wants of customers, now and into the future,” Dr Capewell said.

The Urban Water Strategy has been developed in alignment with our 2023-28 Price Submission, which will also be released for consultation mid-year.

You can download a copy of the draft strategy and share your thoughts at www.gvwater.vic.gov.au/thinkbeyondwater

The survey is open until 11.59pm, Tuesday 8 March.