The Werribee System Reconfiguration Project was identified as a key project outcome of the Central and Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy.
The Werribee catchment, from Werribee to Melton and Bacchus Marsh, is one of Victoria’s fastest developing areas and projected to grow by 1 million people in the next 30 years.
This urban growth will produce increased volumes of recycled water and stormwater, which will need to be stored and re-used to properly manage resources in the region.
The Werribee System Reconfiguration Project is looking at opportunities:
- to improve the reliability, security and quality of irrigation water supplies in the Werribee catchment
- relieve the stressed Werribee River system by returning water to the environment
- returning water to Traditional Owners; and
- boost urban water supply to accommodate population growth.
The project is supported by key partners, including Southern Rural Water, Melbourne Water, the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, and Greater Western Water.
The Werribee System Reconfiguration Project is in the very early stages of a feasibility study. To support the feasibility phase, and the development of a business case, Southern Rural Water is establishing a customer reference group.
The Werribee System Reconfiguration Project will deliver a business case examining the viability of reconfiguring water resources in the Werribee catchment.
The project is at feasibility stage and assessing options for lasting improvements to the reliability, security and quality of irrigation water supply for customers in the Werribee area.
The project will consider the cost and benefits of reconfiguration, including feedback from key stakeholders. A key idea to be discussed is an opportunity for growers to exchange their river entitlements for a more reliable, better quality recycled water supply from a new treatment plant.
There will be no changes to water entitlements without the support of customers.
Feedback from Werribee customers will be critical to the viability of the preliminary business case for the Werribee System Reconfiguration Project, which is due in mid-2024.
Customer Reference Group
The customer reference group will support the project team to understand customer needs and requirements.
A Terms of Reference will guide the operation of the group, which will operate for the duration of the preliminary business case stage of the Werribee System Reconfiguration Project. Customer reference group meetings will be facilitated by an independent chair.
The customer reference group is open to Werribee Regulated System entitlement holders and/or primary producers operating in the Werribee Irrigation District.
It’s expected reference group will meet six times during the first half of 2024, with the final meeting to consider the draft business case.