Our climate is getting hotter and drier, with less rainfall and more dramatic storm events. Communities in the Upper Merri Creek sub-catchment will need more water to stay cool, hydrated and keep greenery alive to reduce the effects of a warmer climate.

Water is essential for any sustainable, healthy community - socially, environmentally and economically. For example, water is linked to our quality of life, biodiversity, crop production and business operations. It relates to our climate resilience, social resilience, and resource and energy efficiencies. Putting water at the centre of the design allows us to consider all these critical parts of good urban design.

Planning at a sub-catchment level supports all agencies operating in the region to work together to create positive outcomes for the local community and environment. This is a change from typical water management where water services organisations (such as utilities or local government authorities) work independently of one another. One will plan water and sewerage services, and others waterways and stormwater systems. Working together allows us to integrate our service planning and optimise investment to deliver a wider range of benefits.

An integrated approach will also help to broaden the range of water sources available to reduce our reliance on existing drinking water supplies. Water supplies include drinking water (also referred to as potable water), stormwater (from roads and pavements), rainwater (from the roof), on-property grey water (from the kitchen, laundry and bathroom) and recycled water (from sewage).

Watch this video to learn more about integrated water management: