What we've heard from our community

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Consultation has concluded

Since August 2019, we have been talking to our community about our water future.

Water for our Future recognises that with a hotter, drier climate and population growth, we need to think differently about how we use water and where it comes from.

During phase one of Water for our Future (between August 2019 and August 2020) thousands of people from across the region shared with us what they value about water and how they see water being used in 50 years’ time. We also heard new ideas for how we might think differently about how we use water and where it comes from.

During phase two (between October 2020 and January 2021) we shared some of the ideas we heard from our community, staff and independent experts and asked our community and stakeholders to learn more about the possible options and provide feedback.

During phase three (between April 2021 and December 2021) we worked on developing the draft Water for our Future Strategy tested it with stakeholders and the community.

The following reports summarise ideas and feedback we have received from our community during each phase of the Water for our Future program.


Phase three engagement

Regional Forum Three – summary report

A record of views shared by 33 leaders across the region - including local councillors and representatives from businesses and environmental groups - at an online forum held in November 2021. Leaders were asked to discuss the draft Water for our Future Strategy.

Read the regional forum phase 3 summary report

‘What we heard’ – phase three community engagement report

A summary of community feedback gathered online between November 2021 and January 2022 about the draft Water for our Future Strategy.

Read the 'what we heard' phase 3 report


Phase two engagement

‘What we heard’ – phase two community engagement report

A summary of community feedback gathered online in December 2020 and January 2021 about 11 high-level options for our water future.

Read the ‘what we heard’ phase 2 report

Regional Forum Two – ‘What was said’ report

A record of views shared by 37 leaders across the region - including local councillors, young people and representatives from businesses and environmental groups - at an online forum held in December 2020. Leaders were asked to discuss the results and implications of the community panel’s vision and criteria and provide insights about options.

Read the regional forum phase 2 report

Customer Advisory Committee and Environmental Advisory Committee Workshop report

A report summarising feedback shared by 27 community representatives from Barwon Water’s customer and environmental advisory committees at an online workshop held in November 2020. Members explored 11 high-level options for our water future and shared, from their perspective, what they would like the community panel to know about each theme.

Read the advisory committee report

Council Working Group Workshop

A report summarising feedback shared by members of the Water for our Future Council Working Group - a group of council officers that provide ongoing advice to the Water for our Future program. In October 2020, they joined online with other council officers from planning, environment and engagement departments to provide feedback from a local perspective and technical input into the 11 high-level options for the future.

Read the council workshop report



Phase one engagement

‘What we heard’ phase one community engagement report

A summary of community feedback and ideas gathered from August 2019 to June 2020 via:

  • Our online survey and ideas lab
  • 14 community pop-ups held across the region
  • Geelong Chamber of Commerce event
  • Online conversation kit

Read the 'What we heard' report

Community workshops ‘what was said’ reports

A record of views and ideas shared by community members at five community workshops held:

  • face-to-face in Torquay and Bannockburn in February and March 2020, and
  • online in Geelong and the Bellarine, Apollo Bay and Colac in June 2020.

Read the Torquay and Bannonckburn report

Read the Geelong and the Bellarine, Apollo Bay and Colac report

Regional forum ‘what was said’ report

A record of views and ideas shared by 52 leaders across the region representing business, industry, youth, community and environmental groups. The regional forum was held in December 2019 and hosted by Barwon Water, in partnership with Deakin University and G21.

Read the regional forum report

Customer research

Formal research to further explore the views and preferences of more than 1000 residential and business customers, conducted via focus groups and an online survey in March 2020, and an additional online survey in August 2020.

Read the community preferences report


How will this community feedback be used?

The phase one reports were considered by the Water for our Future Community Panel when it met online in October and November 2020 to:

  • develop a vision for our water future, and
  • make recommendations for criteria to assess ideas and options for how we might use and find more water in the future.

The phase two reports were considered by the panel in February and March 2021 when it met to:

  • consider the results of the technical assessment of options, weigh up options and make recommendations on options that meet the criteria and can deliver the vision.

Read more about the community panel

Find out more about how the community panel represents our community


Since August 2019, we have been talking to our community about our water future.

Water for our Future recognises that with a hotter, drier climate and population growth, we need to think differently about how we use water and where it comes from.

During phase one of Water for our Future (between August 2019 and August 2020) thousands of people from across the region shared with us what they value about water and how they see water being used in 50 years’ time. We also heard new ideas for how we might think differently about how we use water and where it comes from.

During phase two (between October 2020 and January 2021) we shared some of the ideas we heard from our community, staff and independent experts and asked our community and stakeholders to learn more about the possible options and provide feedback.

During phase three (between April 2021 and December 2021) we worked on developing the draft Water for our Future Strategy tested it with stakeholders and the community.

The following reports summarise ideas and feedback we have received from our community during each phase of the Water for our Future program.


Phase three engagement

Regional Forum Three – summary report

A record of views shared by 33 leaders across the region - including local councillors and representatives from businesses and environmental groups - at an online forum held in November 2021. Leaders were asked to discuss the draft Water for our Future Strategy.

Read the regional forum phase 3 summary report

‘What we heard’ – phase three community engagement report

A summary of community feedback gathered online between November 2021 and January 2022 about the draft Water for our Future Strategy.

Read the 'what we heard' phase 3 report


Phase two engagement

‘What we heard’ – phase two community engagement report

A summary of community feedback gathered online in December 2020 and January 2021 about 11 high-level options for our water future.

Read the ‘what we heard’ phase 2 report

Regional Forum Two – ‘What was said’ report

A record of views shared by 37 leaders across the region - including local councillors, young people and representatives from businesses and environmental groups - at an online forum held in December 2020. Leaders were asked to discuss the results and implications of the community panel’s vision and criteria and provide insights about options.

Read the regional forum phase 2 report

Customer Advisory Committee and Environmental Advisory Committee Workshop report

A report summarising feedback shared by 27 community representatives from Barwon Water’s customer and environmental advisory committees at an online workshop held in November 2020. Members explored 11 high-level options for our water future and shared, from their perspective, what they would like the community panel to know about each theme.

Read the advisory committee report

Council Working Group Workshop

A report summarising feedback shared by members of the Water for our Future Council Working Group - a group of council officers that provide ongoing advice to the Water for our Future program. In October 2020, they joined online with other council officers from planning, environment and engagement departments to provide feedback from a local perspective and technical input into the 11 high-level options for the future.

Read the council workshop report



Phase one engagement

‘What we heard’ phase one community engagement report

A summary of community feedback and ideas gathered from August 2019 to June 2020 via:

  • Our online survey and ideas lab
  • 14 community pop-ups held across the region
  • Geelong Chamber of Commerce event
  • Online conversation kit

Read the 'What we heard' report

Community workshops ‘what was said’ reports

A record of views and ideas shared by community members at five community workshops held:

  • face-to-face in Torquay and Bannockburn in February and March 2020, and
  • online in Geelong and the Bellarine, Apollo Bay and Colac in June 2020.

Read the Torquay and Bannonckburn report

Read the Geelong and the Bellarine, Apollo Bay and Colac report

Regional forum ‘what was said’ report

A record of views and ideas shared by 52 leaders across the region representing business, industry, youth, community and environmental groups. The regional forum was held in December 2019 and hosted by Barwon Water, in partnership with Deakin University and G21.

Read the regional forum report

Customer research

Formal research to further explore the views and preferences of more than 1000 residential and business customers, conducted via focus groups and an online survey in March 2020, and an additional online survey in August 2020.

Read the community preferences report


How will this community feedback be used?

The phase one reports were considered by the Water for our Future Community Panel when it met online in October and November 2020 to:

  • develop a vision for our water future, and
  • make recommendations for criteria to assess ideas and options for how we might use and find more water in the future.

The phase two reports were considered by the panel in February and March 2021 when it met to:

  • consider the results of the technical assessment of options, weigh up options and make recommendations on options that meet the criteria and can deliver the vision.

Read more about the community panel

Find out more about how the community panel represents our community