Integrated water management plan

Learn about our plan to integrate sustainable water use as part of our way of life. 

What is integrated water management? 

Integrated water management is a holistic and collaborative approach to water management that considers the interactions of all elements of the water cycle, including:

  • potable water
  • rainwater
  • stormwater
  • recycled water
  • groundwater.

The aim is to ensure they are used to support and enhance social, ecological and economic outcomes.

To achieve this, we've created an integrated water management plan that sets the strategic direction on water management within Yarra. 

What's in the plan?

The plan lays out our vision, targets and objectives, identifies opportunities for integrated water management across our municipality and helps us to drive more innovative approaches to water management.

Our plan helps us to:

  • protect our waterways and local habitat
  • improve storm water quality, by reducing pollutants entering our downstream waterways
  • reduce the potential impacts of urban flooding
  • increasing community liveability, recreation and amenity
  • support tree growth and greener neighbourhoods
  • improve community and environmental resilience
  • minimise the heat island effect.

Download our integrated water management plan (PDF)

Water Sensitive Urban Design

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is an approach to planning and designing urban areas to make use of this valuable resource and reduce the harm it causes to our rivers and creeks.

WSUD uses better urban planning and design to reuse stormwater, stopping it from reaching our waterways by mimicking the natural water cycle as closely as possible. WSUD works at all levels – lot, street, and precinct – as well as regional scales. It includes a range of treatment options.

Types of WSUD options in the City of Yarra that we are responsible for:

  • raingardens
  • sediment ponds
  • swales.

Our success stories

While this plan has been in place, we've successfully:

  • reduced Yarra’s reliance on potable water by over 20 million litres, following Stage 2 implementation of Edinburgh Gardens Stormwater Harvesting Scheme
  • completed a municipality wide stormwater harvesting opportunities assessment, establishing our long-term commitment to reduce reliance on potable water for open space irrigation
  • delivered the Ramsden Street Oval and Rutland Street Permeable Pavement projects, demonstrating innovative practices in stormwater management 
  • commenced a digital community awareness campaign promoting integrated water management and waterway health
  • encouraged private developers to promote sustainable stormwater management practices in Yarra 
  • prioritised stormwater-harvesting projects to further reduce our reliance on potable water 
  • incorporated new drainage infrastructure into many of our streets that promote passive irrigation of street trees.

You can discover more of our achievements in our integrated water management plan (PDF).