Integrated Water Management and our city's resilience

We are collaborating with a range of local government and institutional partners to promote local-level investment in integrated water management.


What is integrated water management?

Integrated water management is a collaborative approach to planning that brings together organisations that influence all elements of the water cycle, including waterways and bays, wastewater management, alternative and potable water supply, stormwater management and water treatment.


Resilient water systems

Chronic stresses such as urban densification, environmental degradation and climate change are resulting in a need to review and adjust how water is managed within Melbourne, from rivers and reservoirs to streets and stormwater.

We are advocating for better use of existing water systems in metropolitan Melbourne to ensure healthy landscapes and waterways.

We also need to reduce our exposure to drought and flood by supporting the development and coordination of programs that adopt integrated water management and water-sensitive urban design principles.



    Stormwater is surface run-off in urban areas from rain and storm events that enter the drainage system. It carries many pollutants, including leaves, sediment, heavy metals, litter, oils and other hydrocarbons, that are a major cause of pollution in our rivers, creeks, lakes and bays.

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      Alternative water

      Alternative water sources include rainwater from, storm water, treated wastewater or greywater. 

      Using alternative water sources is vital for the security of our city's water supply. 


      Water Sensitive Urban Design

      Water Sensitive Urban Design is an approach to planning and designing urban areas that make use of stormwater. 

      Resilient Melbourne Action

      Climate change will exacerbate flooding in our urban areas, while lower annual rainfall and fewer days of rain will place further stress on our urban vegetation. Building yet more traditional storm drains and pipes is expensive and disruptive, while continuing to water trees and areas of vegetation during droughts is itself resource intensive.

      New, integrated solutions will reduce the risks to safety and financial security of thousands of Melburnians in flood-prone areas, while smarter ways of retaining water in our urban landscape will support existing and future vegetation during times of drought, essential to city amenity, recreation and viability.


      Sudden events that could threaten the water systems in our city include:

    • Flooding
    • Heatwaves


      A number of challenges weaken the fabric of our city on a day-to-day or cyclical basis. Examples of stresses that affect the resilience of water systems in our city include:
    • Drought
    • Development pressures on ecosystem services
    • Climate change
    • Urban densification

    • We are collaborating with a range of local government and institutional partners to promote and enable local level investment in integrated water management. Since the release of our strategy, integrated water management programs across metropolitan Melbourne have made progress.

      Integrated Water Management Working and Alignment Group
      We collaborated with Monash Water Sensitive Cities to assemble the Integrated Water Management Working and Alignment Group. The group is aligning current integrated water management activities, supporting local government to implement integrated water management projects and linking these activities with related projects.

      The group will meet again in April 2018.

      Innovative Financing
      We collaborated with 100 Resilient Cities’ Platform Partner, EY, to explore opportunities for innovative financing of integrated water management projects. More information about this and specific projects will be made available as soon as opportunities are confirmed.

      Research support
      We recruited a part time secondee to provide technical research support and support the Integrated Water Management Working and Alignment Group to develop this information hub.

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