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Planning our water future

Central Highlands Water (CHW), Ballarat City Council and Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA) have released today for comment the draft Ballarat City Integrated Water Management Plan (IWMP).
The plan assesses the entire urban water cycle to better position Ballarat in the future to address the challenges of climate change and population growth, while supporting healthy, resilient, liveable communities.
A number of short-term opportunities have been identified for improved water management outcomes to support the vision of the City alongside a range of options to better use stormwater and recycled water in the servicing of new urban growth areas in the City.
Central Highlands Water Chair, Jeremy Johnson said, “This leading and innovative Victorian regional city IWMP will continue to drive efficiencies in water usage and support maintaining the strong long term water security outlook. This plan will allow all water agency partners to more effectively manage and adapt to climate change and population growth.”
This plan was developed in collaboration between major project partners including the City of Ballarat, the CCMA and CHW, with the support of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).
Other important stakeholder groups who should be acknowledged for their support and valuable input during the planning and design process include, Committee for Ballarat, traditional owners, local land developers, engineering and planning consultants, volunteer groups, educational institutions and large water users.
“The IWMP is an excellent example of collaborative planning which is at the centre of recently released IWM Framework for Victoria and will be a key input into the future Central Highlands IWM Forum. This new framework puts communities at the centre of decision-making, allowing local voices to help shape the future direction of local water management”, said Minister for Water Hon Lisa Neville.
“Our catchments continue to face significant pressures from climate change and population growth – that’s why we’re strengthening collaboration, partnerships and accountability to combat these challenges” said Minister for Water Hon Lisa Neville.
City of Ballarat Mayor, Samantha McIntosh said, “The IWMP is an exciting piece of work which CHW has led in partnership with the City of Ballarat and CCMA. The plan provides direction on the best possible utilisation of the range of water resources we have available across the City, including potable water, treated wastewater, and stormwater to best serve the needs of our community.
We encourage the community to further engage in reviewing the key findings and provide feedback in assisting with the finalisation of our collective actions identified over the short, medium and longer term.”
Alice Knight, Chair Corangamite CMA said, “The integrated and partnership approach to planning future water management in Ballarat is vital to ensure the optimum river health outcomes are achieved as they are highly valued by the community. This has been a key focus area for future protection and enhancement of our waterways in the development of the plan”.
The community can help shape our water future by having their say about the plan by visiting www.ballarat.vic.gov.au to obtain further information on the plan and details on how to make a submission by Thursday 30 November 2017.