Looking to the local future of water

November 25, 2021 BY

Storage: Barwon Water has an allocated share of the Lal Lal Reservoir, which is managed primarily by Central Highlands Water. Photo: FILE

BARWON Water has been thinking long-term and is now encouraging customers to give feedback on a draft pricing, and Water for Our Future strategies.

Managing director Tracey Slatter said the pricing plan explores water security, affordability, the environment and the impacts of climate change over the next five years.

“We value engaging with and hearing from our customers, because we know while we can design solutions to the challenges we face on our own, we get better outcomes when we work in partnership with our customers and community,” she said.

“Our research and engagement tells us very clearly that our customers and community want more than affordable and reliable water and sewerage services.

“They expect Barwon Water to be part of the solution to the broader challenges we face, and to actively contribute to making our region even more prosperous economically, environmentally and culturally.”

The draft Water for Our Future Strategy has already been influenced by hundreds of community ideas generated by 5000 Barwon Water customers, responding to storage inflows, population growth, affordability, and the impacts of climate change over the next 50 years.

“Our modelling shows we need to find or save up to five billion litres of water, over and above the 35 billion litres our region currently uses, every five years for the next 50 years,” Ms Slatter said.

“A hotter, drier climate means our reservoirs are already receiving much less water on average from rainfall in our catchments. We will need to gradually shift to sources of water that are more climate resilient.

“This strategy outlines how we will support our growing region to be prosperous, with enough water for all our needs, while protecting our environment.”

A program to engage the public with the draft Pricing Plan is beginning this month, including focus groups, surveys, webinars and pop-up consultation stalls in communities. Visit bit.ly/3l0alMM to contribute.

A Water for Our Future community panel will meet later this month. Visit bit.ly/30QPvZn to read the draft strategy.

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