Media Releases | 18th Oct, 2006

Melbourne water strategy good news for the future

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

Leading environment groups have welcomed the Victorian Government’s new water conservation plan for Melbourne announced today which introduces first-ever water conservation targets for industry.

Environment Victoria and the Australian Conservation Foundation believe the strategy offers a strong response to the water crisis facing our rivers and urban water supplies.

The groups have applauded the setting of clear targets and timelines for reducing urban water use and delivering water to improve river health programs.

Water Conservation Measures:
EV and ACF strongly support the government’s water conservation measures and the continuation of the environmental contribution made by water authorities.

“Victorians have shown they are ready and willing to start saving water. This strategy sets strong targets for water use in the home and also introduces much-needed conservation targets for industry,” said Environment Victoria Healthy Rivers Campaign Director Dr Paul Sinclair.

“This plan gives Melburnians the chance to directly contribute to securing healthy rivers and water supplies by conserving water at home and in their workplaces. As a result we can save water, money and reduce greenhouse pollution,” said Australian Conservation Foundation Healthy Rivers Campaigner Dr Arlene Buchan.

River Health:
The groups strongly support the Government’s commitment to protecting river health and the quality of water in Victorian rivers.

“Healthy rivers secure healthy water supplies as over 90% of our drinking water comes from rivers. Healthy rivers give us clean water, good fishing and places to wind down. Dead rivers give us toxic blue green algae, fish kills and no future for wildlife and river-based tourism,” Dr Sinclair said.

“River health is the litmus test of how sustainable our water use is. We can’t keep sucking more and more water from our rivers, instead we need to work harder to conserve and recycle our precious water supplies,” Dr Buchan said.

Eastern Treatment Plant:
EV and ACF support upgrading the Eastern Treatment Plant and continuing to explore options for expanding the use of recycled water in industry, agriculture and watering parks and gardens.

The business plan being developed for the Eastern Treatment Recycling Proposal must be based on recovering the full cost of supplying recycled water to the coal industry. A thorough economic and environmental analysis of the total greenhouse impacts of the proposal should form part of the business case.