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Revised Brimbank
Sustainable Water
Management
Strategy 2013-2023
Transitioning to a water
sensitive city
September 2018

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
In 2013 Council adopted the Sustainable Water Strategy 2013-2023 (the
Strategy) and established a vision of Brimbank becoming:
‘A water sensitive City with healthy
waterways’
Five years into Strategy implementation, this vision is directing a transition
towards a more resilient, productive, liveable, and connected Brimbank.
Council’s focus since the Strategy’s adoption has been to diversify irrigation
supplies via stormwater harvesting systems. On-ground achievements include
the installation and optimisation of four significant stormwater harvesting
systems, with three more systems proposed.
Further, to reduce the amount of stormwater pollutants reaching our
waterways, Council has installed a growing number of other water sensitive
urban design (WSUD) assets including raingardens, swales, tree pits and
wetlands. These ‘blue-green’ assets clean and use stormwater and provide
additional benefits including pleasant urban aesthetics, and reduction
of urban heat. The ambition of these WSUD projects now extends to the
collaborative restoration of the upper Stony Creek from a concreted drain to a
quality urban waterway.
With stormwater harvesting and other WSUD programs now well-established,
Council is on a positive pathway to achieving its vision of a water sensitive
city with healthy waterways. Further, Council is also well positioned to reduce
water use across its entire operations.
The key finding of this Review is to affirm Council’s commitment to integrated
water management (IWM) as the best approach to sustainable water
management. This finding condenses into to four core project areas that will
guide Council’s focus over the next five years.
• Reduce reliance on drinking water: Explore design and operation options
for key high drinking water using playing fields and open space assets
to achieve significant drinking water savings. In addition, investigate
options to reduce water use at recreation centres, pools, and function and
community centres.
• Diversify water supplies and improve efficiency: Subject to budgetary
considerations, construct stormwater harvesting systems at Balmoral
Park, Dempster Park and Delahey Reserve; optimise the performance of
existing stormwater harvesting systems; continue the warm season grass
conversion program; and consider modest new stormwater harvesting
systems at other irrigated sites.
• Continue urban WSUD success: Continue to construct WSUD assets as a
standard component of the annual road rehabilitation program and when
upgrading town centres.
• Achieve maintenance best practice: Optimise the handover, maintenance
and associated resources for WSUD assets such as raingardens, wetlands
and stormwater harvesting systems.
In reaching its vision, Council will also transition toward the Water Sensitive
Cities Index for performance assessment. The Index is composed of indicators
that characterise a water sensitive city, enabling progress to be measured
holistically and to be benchmarked nationally.

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5 Revised Brimbank Sustainable Water Management Strategy 2013-2023
Review - purpose and scope
The purpose of this Review is to analyse the strategic approach set by the Strategy and to consider progress
against the targets and action plan.
The scope of this Review includes the performance of Council with its own operations and the water
consumption patterns of Brimbank residents.
Key findings
The key finding of this Review is to affirm Council’s commitment to IWM as the best means to; reduce drinking
water use; harness the potential of alternative water supplies, and; enhance water quality in our waterways for
the benefit of current and future generations of Brimbank residents.
Over the past five years Council has invested in assets which cleanse stormwater and enhance alternative
water capacity, and build related operational capabilities. Over the next five years Council will look at a wider set
of projects to deliver ‘smarter’ water management for the future.
Moving forward, Council will refocus on; reducing its use of drinking water across its operations; continuing
diversification of its water supplies and; continued implementation of urban WSUD with the goal of improving
waterway health and achieving WSUD asset maintenance best practice.
Council will also transition toward using the holistic Water Sensitive Cities (WSC) Index for performance
assessment, to enable a smooth transition to the next iteration of the Strategy in 2023.
Gladstone Street Wetland

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Revised Brimbank Sustainable Water Management Strategy 2013-2023 6
Strategy update
VISION
In 2013, in the context of the millennial drought, Brimbank City Council endorsed the Strategy and established
a progressive vision for ‘a water sensitive City with healthy waterways’. This vision was underpinned by Council
leadership, and community engagement and education. Council’s Environmental Sustainability Framework
2017 outlines how the vision is to be achieved through guiding principles and approaches collectively described
as IWM.
This Review reaffirms that this vision is leading Council towards its objective of a sustainable, resilient and
liveable Brimbank.
LONG-TERM OUTCOMES
If Council, in partnership with the community and other stakeholders, realises its vision for a water sensitive
city with healthy waterways, it will achieve the three pillars of a water sensitive city. As outlined by the
Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, Brimbank will be:
• A place that serves as a water supply catchment: capturing and using a range of different and appropriate
water sources at a range of different scales, for a range of different uses including for sports and leisure.
• A place that provides ‘ecosystem services’: cleaning water before it reaches waterways, thereby providing a
healthy natural environment that offers a range of benefits.
• A place that supports water sensitive communities: where people have the knowledge and desire to
make water wise choices, are actively engaged in decision-making about water, and demonstrate positive
behaviours such as conserving water at home, work and play.
STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS
Five strategic recommendations have been identified to direct Council’s efforts towards achieving the vision
and long-term outcomes.
In the context of population growth, climate change and other increasing pressures including rising costs,
Council will:
A. Prioritise the water hierarchy
Refocus efforts to implement the ‘wise water use’ hierarchy, by reducing overall demand for drinking water.
B. Innovate
Commit to a culture of continuous improvement and innovation, for example through the implementation of
new technologies and improved approaches.
C. Create oases
Critically analyse the allocation of the water budget across asset classes and establish a publicised network of
resilient ‘oases’ assets that optimise water use.
D. Promote public value
Promote the public benefits of sustainable water management and increase efforts to support wise water use.
E. Collaborate
Seek support, collaborate and build capacity to achieve water outcomes with key partners.

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7 Revised Brimbank Sustainable Water Management Strategy 2013-2023
These strategic recommendations are connected as shown in Figure 2. Achieving a water sensitive city
requires Council to adhere to the water hierarchy, which is shown in Figure 1.
This hierarchy prioritises measures that reduce water demand in the first instance, with alternative water and
other sources prioritised down the hierarchy.
Figure 1:
The water hierarchy
Adherence to the water hierarchy will require Council to review its services, especially for the irrigation of
playing fields and open spaces.
This service review will lead Council to innovate. It will also lead Council to consolidate water use to ‘create
oases’ that support community wellbeing needs.
To make the necessary changes to Council operations it will be necessary to ‘promote (the) public value’ of
projects and service changes, and seek support from a wide range of ‘collaborators’ including Melbourne Water,
City West Water and the State Government.
In this connected way, the strategic recommendations will lead to systems thinking in IWM. This will enable
water to be better recognised and managed across disciplinary boundaries as an essential element of the
urban ‘social-ecological’ system.
Water
hierarchy
Collaborate
Public value
Innovate
Create oases
Figure 2: Systems thinking in IWM
In the first instance
Rainwater harvesting (from
roofs)
On-site wasterwater
recycling
Then... Sources from beyond
the catchment
Reduce demand for water
Stormwater harvesting
Wastewater recycling and
reuse
Mains (drinking) water
Then... Alternative water
from the local catchment
Grey water diversion
Waterway sourcing
Groundwater (bore water)
extraction

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Revised Brimbank Sustainable Water Management Strategy 2013-2023 8
Program logic for sustainable
water management
The following ‘program logic’ outlines the connection between the vision, the key pillars of a water sensitive
city and the strategic recommendations and key actions identified in this Review.
Vision
Strategic
recommendations
from review
Implement
the water
hierarchy
Innovate
Create
oases
Promote
public
value
Collaborate
A water senstive city with healthy waterways
Pillars of a water
sensitive city
A place that serves as a water supply catchment
A place that provides 'ecosystem services'
A place that supports water sensitive communities
Core project areas
Diversify water supplies and improve efficiency
Reduce reliance on drinking water
Continue urban WSUD success
Achieve maintenance best practice
Figure 3:
Program logic for sustainable water management

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9 Revised Brimbank Sustainable Water Management Strategy 2013-2023
Resilient Brimbank
Since the Water Strategy was adopted in 2013 the concept of ‘resilience’ has come to prominence.
Resilience is the ability to cope with and recover from disruption. Resilience allows for the trends and variability
to be managed in order to maintain services for people, and to protect the natural environment now and in the
future.
This concept proposes that shocks and stresses, mainly the result of human activities, will pose an increasing
risk to communities.
Accordingly, ‘treatments’ should be put in place now to build the capacity of individuals, institutions, businesses
and systems within our city to adapt, survive and thrive no matter what kind of stresses and shocks they
experience.
The dynamic nature of the threats facing Council’s water related assets and services, such as the
unpredictability of drought, means that achieving resilience presents many challenges. Council will need to
exploit new technologies and new ideas, as well as the existing tools, to design innovative approaches to meet
the challenges head on.
Climate adaptation and liveability are two specific elements of resilience thinking that relate to water use.
A finding of this review is that these elements need to be integrated into Council’s shift towards systems
thinking, where water management is managed as part of the total urban social-ecological system.
An outline of climate adaptation and liveability is provided below.
CLIMATE ADAPTATION
Climate change will result in an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events such as
heatwaves, drought and flooding. Within Brimbank, climate change will result in higher temperatures, a
reduction in overall rainfall, higher evapotranspiration and an overall drying of the landscape.
Council’s Climate Adaptation Framework 2017 recognises the value of sustainable water management as
an appropriate adaptation response. The Framework outlines five adaptation principles that have been
considered as part of this review. (e.g. Prioritise decisions and solutions that maintain equity across and within
generations, and that protect community members who are most exposed to climate impacts).
Adaptation to climate change involves taking practical actions to manage the risks from climate change,
thereby building resilience.
Practical steps include mapping urban ‘hot spots’ where summer temperatures reach very high levels, so that
WSUD elements can be built in these areas to provide cooling.
LIVEABLIITY
‘Liveability’ is an assessment of what a place is like to live in, using particular criteria. In recognising the
important contribution local parks, public open spaces and sports grounds make to liveability, the Victorian
Government has expressed a desire for water corporations and councils to work together to increase the
preparedness and resilience of priority public places to drought.

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Revised Brimbank Sustainable Water Management Strategy 2013-2023 10
Targets
Aligned with Council’s IWM approach, the Strategy set targets covering drinking water consumption, alternative
water use for irrigation, and water quality improvements.
These targets helped drive action and innovation within Council and have contributed towards Council
achieving its vision.
Moving forward, Council will transition towards using the Water Sensitive Cities Index for performance
assessment.
This transition will occur over the next five years and beyond. To ensure a smooth transition, interim targets
will be established.
In line with this ‘stepped’ approach, Council will aim to achieve a 56ML reduction on current drinking water
consumption to achieve 281ML of use by 2022/23. Achieving this figure will progress Council towards its vision
of a water sensitive city with healthy waterways.
Council has made impressive progress on its target for alternative water use, which aims for greater than 70%
of irrigation of playing fields and open spaces being met from alternative sources. Council is currently supplying
over 21% and is on track to meet a step target of 50% by 2022/3.
Council is also progressing exceptionally well towards the water quality improvement targets, which contribute
towards healthy waterways with less litter. Achieving this target will see significant reductions in total
phosphorous, total nitrogen and total suspended solids entering our stormwater system.
Green Gully Reserve stormwater harvesting underground water tank

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11 Revised Brimbank Sustainable Water Management Strategy 2013-2023
Action plan update
Over the remaining 5 years of this Strategy, Council will take firm steps towards achieving best practice in local
government IWM. The updated action plan commits Council to improving its capacity and achieving real benefits
for our community and our local catchments. The action plan is structured by the four core project areas.
1. Reduce reliance on drinking water
Action
Description
Benefit Timeframe Resource
Implications
1.0 Innovate to
reduce drinking
water use for
irrigation
Implement the water hierarchy
by avoiding water use, for
example, by maximising irrigation
efficiencies through a centralised
irrigation management system,
using alternative surfaces and
site designs, prioritising drought
tolerant species and conserving
soil moisture in landscaping,
and by implementing the annual
sportsground refurbishment
program and grass conversion
program.
Very high Ongoing
Subject to
Council annual
budget allocation
1.1 Reduce drinking
water usage in
Council buildings
Develop and implement a
priority list for water reduction
opportunities in Council buildings
(incl. timing of asset renewal or
redevelopment) e.g. efficient
fittings as standard, leasing and
licencing provisions, and water
sensitive behaviours education
Very high 2018/19
Within existing
operational
budget
1.2 Support
community
uptake of
water efficient
products and
behaviours
In partnership with City West
Water, provide up-to-date
information on locally available
products, incentive programs
and services for households.
Consider specific promotions to
rental households and seek advice
from real estate agencies about
implementation.
Very high As required Within existing
operational
budget
1.3 Promote
business uptake
of water efficient
products and
behaviours
In partnership with CWW,
provide up-to-date information
about locally available products,
incentive programs and services
for business.
High
Ongoing from
2013-2014 Within existing
operational
budget
1.4 Publicise
community water
consumption
data
Encourage ongoing community
commitment to water sensitive
behaviours.
Medium Ongoing from
2019/20
Within existing
operational
budget

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Revised Brimbank Sustainable Water Management Strategy 2013-2023 12
2. Diversify water supplies and improve efficiency
Action
Description
Benefit Timeframe Resource
Implications
2.0 Continue to work
with key partners
and authorities
Key partners and authorities
include Melbourne Water, City
West Water, Victorian Government
departments, the Port Phillip
and Westernport Catchment
Management Authority and
regional local government
networks.
Future collaborative work
includes:
• IWM forums for the
Maribyrnong and Werribee
catchments
• 2022/23 redevelopment of
Brimbank Flood Management
with Melbourne Water
• Adoption of WSUD policy and
guidelines in the Brimbank
Planning Scheme
• Partnerships with private
developers for IWM outcomes
• Joint presentations and forums
with project partners
• Significant capital works
such as the Stony Creek Re
naturalisation project
Very high Ongoing
Within existing
operational
budget
Bi-lingual interpretation sign

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13 Revised Brimbank Sustainable Water Management Strategy 2013-2023
Action
Description
Benefit Timeframe Resource
Implications
2.1 Source funding
and grants
Actively seek out and apply for
funding that will accelerate the
achievement of sustainable water
outcomes including for innovative
projects e.g. that diversify water
supplies and improved efficiency
measures.
High
As required Subject to Council
annual budget
allocation
2.2 Construct and
ensure good
performance
of large-scale
alternative water
systems
Subject to funding assistance,
install stormwater harvesting
systems at:
• Balmoral Park Reserve
• Delahey Reserve
• Dempster Park
• Other priority sites
Very high By 2022/23 Within capital
works program
and subject to
external funding
2.3 Investigate
sewer mining
and small scale
membrane based
water recycling
systems.
Sewer mining and small membrane
based water systems may have
applications in Brimbank. This
concept will be explored with CWW
and MW.
High
2020/21
Within capital
works program
and subject to
external funding
2.4 Support clubs to
be water wise
Design and deliver sustainability
programs targeting Council
facilities, patrons and visitors.
High
2020/21
Within existing
operational
budget
2.5 Promote greater
use of grey water
Through information and
regulatory support, encourage
fit-for-purpose greywater recycling
on-site for uses such as landscape
irrigation. In partnership with CWW
or others, investigate incentives
and measures to overcome barriers
to uptake.
High
2020/21
Subject to Council
annual budget
allocation
2.6 Maximise use
of captured
rainwater
Optimise use of fit-for-purpose
rainwater for uses such as toilet
flushing and Council maintenance
activities (street sweeping, drain
cleaning and street tree irrigation).
High
2018/19
Within existing
budgets
2.7 Investigate
opportunities to
share alternative
water sources
Seek out best practice case studies
and approach potential partner
organisations to develop and
deliver shared alternative water
supply projects within Brimbank
Medium As
opportunistic
Within existing
operational
budget
2.8 Utilise capability
in water demand
forecasting and
climate change
Work with City West Water to utilise
their capability in water demand
forecasting vis-à-vis climate
change to support the prioritisation
and placement of assets such as
stormwater harvesting systems.
Very high 2019/2020 Within existing
operational
budget

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Revised Brimbank Sustainable Water Management Strategy 2013-2023 14
3. Continue urban WSUD success
Action
Description
Benefit Timeframe Resource
Implications
3.0 Facilitate IWM
working group
Continue to facilitate IWM working
group, including a new focus on
reducing the inappropriate use of
drinking water.
Very High 2018/19
Within existing
operational
budget
3.1 Map municipal
water oases
In partnership with Council’s Urban
Design, Leisure and Community
Facilities and Parks Departments,
and City West Water, map a
strategic series of water oases
across the municipality.
Very High 2019/20
Subject to
Council annual
budget allocation
3.2 Showcase
completed WSUD
projects
Develop case studies from
successful water-sensitive
Council and private developments
and provide to general public,
community groups, other local
governments, academic or
industry groups, and share within
the organisation.
Ensure communications
demonstrate how water
sensitive assets look and
function differently to thirsty
assets, and improve community
understanding and care of WSUD
assets
High
Ongoing
Within existing
operational
budget
3.3 Investigate
land use
planning WSUD
requirements
Prepare Council’s systems and
processes to implement a state
wide planning provision for best
practice stormwater management
for all new development.
High
2018/19
Subject to
Council annual
budget allocation
3.4 Provide
community
education
Continue to provide opportunities
for the community to actively
engage with local water ways,
through community engagement
and education events.
Very High Ongoing
Within existing
operational
budget
3.5 Infiltration and
water quality
treatment in
capital works
Implement WSUD as standard
practice for capital works planning
and design including for open
space, streetscape and hard
surface areas where practicable.
High
Ongoing
Within existing
operational
budget

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15 Revised Brimbank Sustainable Water Management Strategy 2013-2023
Action
Description
Benefit Timeframe Resource
Implications
3.6 Prevent point
source pollution
Projects/initiatives should be
based on an understanding
of pollution incidents within
Brimbank, and priority WSUD
opportunities and sub-catchments
as identified by Council.
Priority sub-catchments include:
• Cumberland Main Drain/
Sunshine Main Drain
• Kayes Drain
• Burgess Street Drain
• Westmoreland Rd/Anderson
Rd Diversion Drain.
High
2018/19
Subject to
Council annual
budget allocation
3.7 Roads and car
park projects to
include WSUD
All Council carparks will be
designed and constructed
with WSUD treatments where
possible. Design should occur in
consultation with the relevant
departments from Council’s
Operations Centre. WSUD to also
be considered at appropriate
places as part of the annual road
rehabilitation program.
High
As required Within existing
budgets
3.8 Remove weeds
from open
stormwater
drains and water
courses
Council to advocate and, where
appropriate, partner with
Melbourne Water and other
stakeholders to remove weeds
from stormwater drains and
watercourses.
Medium As required Within existing
operational
budget
3.9 Assist waterway
rehabilitation
and revegetation
efforts
Important sites include Stony
Creek (major rehabilitation).
Assistance to be provided to
collaborative agencies and
community organisations.
Very High Ongoing
Within existing
operational
budget

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Revised Brimbank Sustainable Water Management Strategy 2013-2023 16
4. Achieve best practice
Action
Description
Benefit Timeframe Resource
Implications
4.0 Undertake
Water Sensitive
Cities Index
benchmarking
Undertake benchmarking leading
into the development of the next
iteration of the Strategy.
Very High 2019/20
Subject to
co-funded by
external partner
(~$12,000)
4.1 Continue to
refine WSUD
prioritisation
planning and
designs
Ensure WSUD in Council's
open space projects, facilities
redevelopments and roads
capital works are of sound design
and diligently implemented.
Embed a culture of continuous
improvement. Check if assets
classified as wetlands may
potentially be better classified
as sedimentation basins, ponds,
lakes or swales.
High
2018/19
Subject
to Council
annual budget
allocation
4.2 Review and
strengthen
enforcement of
sediment control
and erosion
protection
Review practices and processes
and implement improvements
to enforcement and site
management.
High
2020/21
Within existing
operational
budget
4.3 Integrate
climate
adaptation and
liveability
Update IWM governance systems
and processes to ensure that
resilience issues, specifically
climate adaptation and liveability,
are part of all decision making
processes.
Very High 2018
Within existing
operational
budget
4.4 Maintain
strong data
management
and monitoring
Manage Council’s environmental
data and progress towards
targets through Brimbank’s
data management framework,
including water consumption and
water quality indicators.
High
Ongoing
Within existing
operational
budget
4.5 Complete a final
review of the
Strategy and
development
new version
Undertake evaluation against
the program logic. Review
strategy and actions and provide
overview of policy changes and
developments in best practice
and technologies. This review
will lead to the development
of the next iteration of the
Strategy.
High
2022
Within existing
operational
budget
4.6 Analyse GPT
placement
Continue the GPT program
and align with the WSUD
prioritisation findings.
High
2019/20
Subject
to Council
annual budget
allocation

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17 Revised Brimbank Sustainable Water Management Strategy 2013-2023
Action
Description
Benefit Timeframe Resource
Implications
4.7 Review Council’s
approach to
maintaining
wetlands
Council currently has 35
wetland assets across 14 sites
contributing many and varied
benefits in the local Brimbank
environment. A review of current
maintenance practices is timely
to ensure optimal performance
and characterisation of assets
e.g. retaining ponds.
High
2019/20
Subject
to Council
annual budget
allocation &
external funding
4.8 Investigate tree
health in the
Maribyrnong
catchment
The health of ancient River
Red Gums at Taylors Creek
is declining due to altered
hydrological conditions and
requires investigation as part of
a wider study in the Maribyrnong
catchment.
High
2018/19
Within existing
operational
budget
4.9 Implement Flood
Management
Plan 2017
Partner with Melbourne Water to
review Flood Management Plan
2017.
High
2022/23
Within existing
operational
budget
Dawson Street Raingarden

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Brimbank City Council
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9249 4000
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info@brimbank.vic.gov.au
Post
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