26 September 2023

Climate change a challenge for city’s water

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Melburnians are being called on to help shape a 50-year plan for the area’s urban water system bearing in mind the face of a changing climate and growing population.

Releasing its draft Greater Melbourne Urban Water & System Strategy: Water for Life, Melbourne Water said the State was facing considerable water challenges over the next 50 years.

“Victoria’s climate is becoming increasingly hotter and drier, and there’s less water in our rivers,” Melbourne Water said.

“Our population is also growing and set to double by 2070 – meaning more people relying on our precious, limited supply of water,” it said.

“By 2070, even with substantial annual contributions from our existing Victorian Desalination Plant, we may need to double our water supplies – adding an average of 12 billion litres each year.”

It said that over time the State would need to add new sources of water to further supplement its water supplies.

According to Melbourne Water the draft Strategy, open for consultation until 13 July, was a collaborative 50-year plan for addressing the challenges and providing a thriving and reliable water supply into the future.

“Before we submit the final strategy, we want to hear from you about the things you feel we’ve done well, or where you see room for improvement,” the water supplier said.

“You can read the full or summarised version of the strategy, explore our interactive dashboard or come along to an online community webinar and chat directly with the project team.”

It said no single solution could meet the challenges Victoria faced, so the draft Strategy had investigated a range of options, including climate resilient, manufactured water; optimising the existing network of dams and reservoirs; and increasing stormwater harvesting, water efficiency and conservation efforts.

Melbourne Water’s 196-page draft Strategy can be accessed at this PS News link.

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