Girl feeding ducks at FairfieldWater – Overview and Introduction

Following this introductory page, the remaining pages of the water section will cover:

Water is a precious natural resource that all life is dependent upon.

While it is a renewable resource, it is becoming less so in a context of population increases and the effects of climate change.

In many parts of the world, fresh, high quality drinking water is now considered a relatively scarce resource.

In Melbourne, access to additional supplies of freshwater are extremely constrained as there are no obvious and cost-effective dam projects in reasonable reach of Melbourne.

In addition, dams are detrimental to the environment of natural streams and their aquatic life.

Desalination has been looked upon as the next most viable alternative water supply, yet it also carries high energy requirements.

Alternative water sources such as stormwater are also viewed a viable replacements for mains or potable water in some situations (eg. irrigation of open space especially).  At a domestic scale harvesting of rainwater and re-use of greywater are further viable means by which potable water can be replaced and have the additional benefits (if applied at a wide enough scale) of providing benefits to urban waterways from flow reduction and also reduce the scale of treatment required at major waste water treatment plants at Werribee and Carrum and discharge at their ocean outfalls. 

There are simple actions that everyone can take to use less water. Find out more about saving water in your home. Council has been very active in implementing water-saving initiatives. Find out about Council projects to save water.  

Water targets for Yarra

Council has adopted the following water conservation targets:

  • to reduce water consumption by 40% below 2000/2001 levels by 2015
  • Community - to reduce water consumption by 15% below 2000/2001 levels by 2010 and achieve a further 10% reduction by 2015
  • Council has resolved to achieve 10% of Best Practice in stormwater quality management for Council managed assets and infrastructure across the municipality.

The following water quality improvement targets represent best practice:

  • Total suspended solids – 80% reduction in the average annual load from that typically generated from an urban catchment
  • Total phosphorous and total nitrogen - 45% reduction in the average annual load from that typically generated from an urban catchment
  • Litter – 70% reduction of typical urban load.

Water plans and strategies

Council has developed various plans and strategies to set out actions for saving water and improving water quality in local waterways. These plans and strategies include:

City of Yarra Water Action Plan (810.75kB)

Yarra Environment Strategy  

Further information
Kathleen Burke
Asset Drainage Engineer
9426 1599 


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