Draft Water for our Future Strategy

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Our draft Water for Our Future strategy has been informed by our extensive engagement with our community. It proposes adaptive plans to ensure a secure water future for each of the systems in our region, based on what our community has told us is important to them. It provides the next opportunity for you - our customers and community - to provide feedback on these pathways and some of the key decisions we need to make.

Read the draft Water for our Future Strategy


Water for a Future at a glance

Our systems

We manage five discrete water supply systems - the Geelong, Golden Plains, Bellarine and Surf Coast system is our largest supplying >90% of our customers. The other systems are Colac, Lorne, Apollo Bay and Gellibrand.

Find out more about what’s proposed for each system and provide your feedback

  1. Geelong, Golden Plains, Bellarine and Surf Coast
  2. Colac
  3. Lorne
  4. Apollo Bay
  5. Gellibrand

Have your say
We're currently seeking your feedback for each of the systems to understand your level of comfort with the 5 year, 50 year and drought response actions proposed. Simply click on each system outlined above and complete the short surveys before 10 January 2022 to help us continue to plan for our water future.



Next steps
We will finalise our Water for our Future strategy taking into account community views, including the final deliberations of the Water for our Future community panel. Our final strategy will also benefit from the parallel development of the Central and Gippsland Sustainable Water Strategy that is considering water security challenges and opportunities across a broader geographic area. Some aspects of our final strategy may be informed by, or subject to decisions made and policies set out in the Sustainable Water Strategy.

Our Water for our Future strategy will become our 2022 Urban Water Strategy. Every Victorian urban water business must prepare an Urban Water Strategy that outlines a 50-year plan to manage demand for, and ensure sufficient supplies of, drinking water. The Urban Water Strategy is revisited every five years, which helps ensure we are constantly adapting to our ever-changing world.



How we’ve developed the draft


Our process

Good planning involves considering a wide range of options and future scenarios, which has been the philosophy of the Water for our Future program.

Exploring a range of options, from a range of different perspectives, means we can make better informed decisions.

We identified hundreds of ideas that could help us find more water or use water smarter. These ideas came from:

  • Our community – contributions at our face-to face and online engagement activities, including our “Ideas Lab” (an online forum that enabled the community to post and discuss new ideas)
  • Our staff – ideas from previous strategies and plans together with new ideas from staff who are experts about how our systems operate
  • Independent experts – technical reports and gap analysis undertaken by qualified experts.

We have heard and learned a lot from the thorough engagement with our community over the past two years or so.

You can read the full reports here.



Roadmap of the five phases of engagement




We are currently in the third phase of the Water for our Future program.

This phase provides the opportunity for community feedback on our proposed plans over the next 5 years, and 50 years. We will then consider community views as part of finalising the Water for our Future strategy.


Step 1: Initial assessment

The first step in our decision-making process was to consolidate the long list of options by grouping ideas based on a similar concept, to avoid duplicates and repetition.

This refined the large number of ideas to a more workable number of feasible options for further, more detailed assessment.


Step 2: Criteria assessment

The panel assembled in February and March 2021 to review the long list of options, confirming that they represented all the ideas identified. They then reviewed our assessment of the options to ensure this aligned with the intent of their criteria and supported the vision they had established.

The panel recommended a wide range of options for future consideration, including solutions relating to better design and planning, changing behaviours, improving efficiency and sourcing extra water for a variety of purposes through roof water, stormwater, greywater, recycled water and desalination.

The breadth of options showed that, over the next 50 years, the panel envision a secure water future with innovative, sustainable and affordable water solutions for the region and less reliance over time on traditional and rainfall dependent sources of water, like rivers and groundwater.

Combined, the 34 options recommended by the panel could find or save more than 1,000 million litres of water in the future, which is double the amount of water the region would need even under a worst case scenario.


Step 3: Portfolio assessment

The third step in our decision-making process involved grouping options from the agreed list into different portfolios. This means that, instead of each option being considered individually, the performance of different groups of options could be understood and compared.

We assessed costs and benefits and tested the options under a range of possible future growth and climate scenarios.

This helped us identify and choose the portfolio that offers the greatest community value under the most scenarios.


Step 4: Strategy development

The first three steps have help us develop the draft strategy. The processes we have followed have led us to the clear plan we propose for the next five years. This includes the work we will do to help us prepare for, and make decisions about, what we need to do over the longer-term horizon of the next fifty years.

Publishing the draft provides the opportunity for further engagement on our plans. Community feedback on this draft will be considered by our panel when it meets for the final time later this year. The panel will check whether we have appropriately considered community views in developing our strategy and may make further recommendations.


Take a quick poll to help let us know your level of comfort with the process we undertook.

Our draft Water for Our Future strategy has been informed by our extensive engagement with our community. It proposes adaptive plans to ensure a secure water future for each of the systems in our region, based on what our community has told us is important to them. It provides the next opportunity for you - our customers and community - to provide feedback on these pathways and some of the key decisions we need to make.

Read the draft Water for our Future Strategy


Water for a Future at a glance

Our systems

We manage five discrete water supply systems - the Geelong, Golden Plains, Bellarine and Surf Coast system is our largest supplying >90% of our customers. The other systems are Colac, Lorne, Apollo Bay and Gellibrand.

Find out more about what’s proposed for each system and provide your feedback

  1. Geelong, Golden Plains, Bellarine and Surf Coast
  2. Colac
  3. Lorne
  4. Apollo Bay
  5. Gellibrand

Have your say
We're currently seeking your feedback for each of the systems to understand your level of comfort with the 5 year, 50 year and drought response actions proposed. Simply click on each system outlined above and complete the short surveys before 10 January 2022 to help us continue to plan for our water future.



Next steps
We will finalise our Water for our Future strategy taking into account community views, including the final deliberations of the Water for our Future community panel. Our final strategy will also benefit from the parallel development of the Central and Gippsland Sustainable Water Strategy that is considering water security challenges and opportunities across a broader geographic area. Some aspects of our final strategy may be informed by, or subject to decisions made and policies set out in the Sustainable Water Strategy.

Our Water for our Future strategy will become our 2022 Urban Water Strategy. Every Victorian urban water business must prepare an Urban Water Strategy that outlines a 50-year plan to manage demand for, and ensure sufficient supplies of, drinking water. The Urban Water Strategy is revisited every five years, which helps ensure we are constantly adapting to our ever-changing world.



How we’ve developed the draft


Our process

Good planning involves considering a wide range of options and future scenarios, which has been the philosophy of the Water for our Future program.

Exploring a range of options, from a range of different perspectives, means we can make better informed decisions.

We identified hundreds of ideas that could help us find more water or use water smarter. These ideas came from:

  • Our community – contributions at our face-to face and online engagement activities, including our “Ideas Lab” (an online forum that enabled the community to post and discuss new ideas)
  • Our staff – ideas from previous strategies and plans together with new ideas from staff who are experts about how our systems operate
  • Independent experts – technical reports and gap analysis undertaken by qualified experts.

We have heard and learned a lot from the thorough engagement with our community over the past two years or so.

You can read the full reports here.



Roadmap of the five phases of engagement




We are currently in the third phase of the Water for our Future program.

This phase provides the opportunity for community feedback on our proposed plans over the next 5 years, and 50 years. We will then consider community views as part of finalising the Water for our Future strategy.


Step 1: Initial assessment

The first step in our decision-making process was to consolidate the long list of options by grouping ideas based on a similar concept, to avoid duplicates and repetition.

This refined the large number of ideas to a more workable number of feasible options for further, more detailed assessment.


Step 2: Criteria assessment

The panel assembled in February and March 2021 to review the long list of options, confirming that they represented all the ideas identified. They then reviewed our assessment of the options to ensure this aligned with the intent of their criteria and supported the vision they had established.

The panel recommended a wide range of options for future consideration, including solutions relating to better design and planning, changing behaviours, improving efficiency and sourcing extra water for a variety of purposes through roof water, stormwater, greywater, recycled water and desalination.

The breadth of options showed that, over the next 50 years, the panel envision a secure water future with innovative, sustainable and affordable water solutions for the region and less reliance over time on traditional and rainfall dependent sources of water, like rivers and groundwater.

Combined, the 34 options recommended by the panel could find or save more than 1,000 million litres of water in the future, which is double the amount of water the region would need even under a worst case scenario.


Step 3: Portfolio assessment

The third step in our decision-making process involved grouping options from the agreed list into different portfolios. This means that, instead of each option being considered individually, the performance of different groups of options could be understood and compared.

We assessed costs and benefits and tested the options under a range of possible future growth and climate scenarios.

This helped us identify and choose the portfolio that offers the greatest community value under the most scenarios.


Step 4: Strategy development

The first three steps have help us develop the draft strategy. The processes we have followed have led us to the clear plan we propose for the next five years. This includes the work we will do to help us prepare for, and make decisions about, what we need to do over the longer-term horizon of the next fifty years.

Publishing the draft provides the opportunity for further engagement on our plans. Community feedback on this draft will be considered by our panel when it meets for the final time later this year. The panel will check whether we have appropriately considered community views in developing our strategy and may make further recommendations.


Take a quick poll to help let us know your level of comfort with the process we undertook.

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Do you have a submission? Submit your response here. 

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Page last updated: 13 January 2022, 11:40