Integrated Water Cycle Management in the Barwon Region

by Barwon Water



Utilities, councils, developers and other key stakeholders in the Barwon Region have a keen interest in adopting good practice Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM). This is in response to prolonged water stress and population pressures, and recognition of the opportunity to influence the design of new urban developments.

Project goal

Facilitate greater cross agency collaboration to help ensure the water cycle is considered as early as possible in the design stages of new developments, adopting good practice in integrating urban and water planning so opportunities and efficiencies are not missed.

delivering on

why is this project important?

Pressures such as urban growth, population pressures, water stress and climate change are faced in cities across Australia. An integrated approach that focuses on optimising outcomes across the whole of the urban water cycle, has been acknowledged to have overall long-term benefit to customers, communities and regions.

• Cross agency collaboration and relationship building.
• Capability building in Integrated Water Cycle Management.
• Efficient city planning and decision making.
• Better solutions for resilient communities.

In 2012, Barwon Water led the creation of Victoria’s first IWCM Network. Established as a partnership with Catchment Management Authorities and Local Government, the network commits to working towards a more integrated approach to urban and water planning. The partnership assists to coordinate, raise awareness, and build knowledge and confidence in tools around IWCM. The Network has initiated various projects across the region pioneering a more integrated approach. These include:

  • Colac IWCM Plan – a whole of city water cycle-based masterplan
  • Urban Water Cycle Planning Guide – an online resource to help urban developers, consultants and planners embed the concept of IWCM into the design of new urban subdivisions.
  • Atlas of alternative water opportunities – a detailed database describing all existing, planned and potential demands and supply nodes for alternative water across the region

In the past five years the region has continued to push the boundaries of integrating water and urban planning with Barwon Water leading the preparation of IWCM plans at various scales, (township, precinct and sub-precinct). The utility has created an online guide to help consultants negotiate the integration process.  (

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