We understand the need to manage the water cycle – water consumption, rainwater, stormwater, waste water and waterways – in a sustainable way if we are to keep our city green, waterways clean and adapt to weather extremes.

Waterway example

Yarra River, Kew

Our strategy and vision

Our Integrated Water Strategy (PDF 3.62MB) and Action Plans (Word Doc 1.24MB) aims to manage the water cycle as a whole - this is known as integrated water management (IWM). IWM includes water efficiency, waterway protection and pollution control.

IWM benefits pursued by us include:

  • Economic - lowering our drinking water use and bills.
  • Environmental - preventing pollutants present in stormwater reaching waterways and lowering the volume of water taken from the environment.
  • Social - creating greener, cooler and more attractive places.
  • Resilience - diversifying water sources (by using rainwater and treated stormwater).

The Strategy’s vision is “…a healthy, green and resilient city…where a diversity of water sources are available so that the right quality of water is available when and where required…contributing to healthier waterways and open spaces for greater community well-being.”

The Strategy also identifies four objectives:

  1. Minimise use of drinking water.
  2. Increase water harvesting and reuse.
  3. Remove pollutants from our stormwater before it enters our waterways and Port Phillip Bay.
  4. Support our flood mitigating activities to better protect properties from flooding while also protecting the environment, amenity and function of Council assets.

Projects and initiatives

  • IWMS Facility Retrofit Program - Implement water efficiency retrofits at our buildings e.g. water efficient fixtures and fittings, rainwater tank installation for toilet flushing and irrigation.
  • Sports ground warm season grass conversion - All sports grounds in Boroondara have been converted from cool season grasses to drought tolerant warm season grass mixes. Once established, the turf requires less irrigation and is better suited to hot summer months. 
  • Drought tolerant or native species - Where possible, we preference drought tolerant or native species that are better suited to the local climate and require less watering.   
  • Irrigation System management and upgrades - We have implemented a number of measures to ensure water is used as efficiently as possible for irrigation. This includes a centralised automated system, weather monitoring and sprinkler head upgrades. Regular inspection and maintenance ensures irrigation is effective and efficient.
  • Construction of the Grace Park Raingarden and Gordon Barnard Reserve Raingarden - stormwater harvesting systems with associated planting, landscaping and sports ground irrigation systems. To find out more about constructing raingardens visit the Melbourne Water website.
  • Adoption of the Sustainable Council Buildings Policy which requires our major buildings projects to be equivalent to 5 Stars according to the Green Building Council of Australia Design and As Built Tool. This sets high standards for water efficiency and protection of our waterways.
  • Community workshops and events delivered through our Living For our Future Program - Includes support and advice on waterwise gardening, water efficiency, raingardens and waterway health.

Monitoring and reporting

To monitor our progress, we regularly collect and analyse data and information that relates to a number of performance indicators.

For more information, contact us on 9278 4011 or email the Environment team at [email protected]c.gov.au.

Useful resources

Yarra Valley Water has information from your water retailer about saving water and understanding the water and sewerage infrastructure around your home.

Melbourne Water has information on water sensitive urban design, raingardens, stormwater harvesting, flood management, river health and waterway protection.

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