2017 Urban Water Strategy - newater.com.au

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2017 Urban Water Strategy - newater.com.au
Urban Water Strategy
2017 Urban Water Strategy - newater.com.au
North East Water


List of Figures                                           04   3.4 Integrated Water Management Planning                     25
                                                                   3.4.1 Leneva – Baranduda WOWCM Plan                       25
List of Tables                                            05      3.4.2 Baranduda Fields                                    25
                                                                   3.4.3 Bellbridge urban reuse concepts                     25
List of Acronyms                                          06
                                                                   3.4.4 One Resource – Yackandandah                         25
                                                                3.5 Climate Change                                           25
                                                                   3.5.1 Adapting to a changing climate                      25
                                                                   3.5.2 Climate change mitigation                           27
                                                                3.6 Bushfires                                                27
UWS approach and findings                                 08
                                                                3.7 Demand reduction and management                          29
Actions and options                                       09
                                                                   3.7.1 Community and education programs                    29
1. Introduction                                           11   3.8 Use of water markets                                     30
1.1 Scope                                                 11      3.8.1 Water share trading                                 30
1.2 Objectives of the UWS                                 11      3.8.2 Allocation trading                                  30
1.3 Principles for UWS development                        11      3.8.3 Return flow credits                                 31
1.4 Approaches to decision making under uncertainty       12      3.8.4 Carryover                                           31
     1.4.1 Scenario planning                              12   3.9 Further studies                                          31
     1.4.2 Adaptive management                            12
                                                                4. Levels of Service                                         32
1.5 Decision-making framework for guiding action          13
                                                                4.1 North East Water’s agreed level of service               32
     1.5.1 Water supply planning                          15
                                                                4.2 North East Water’s minimum level of service              32
     1.5.2 Drought Preparedness Plan                      15
     1.5.3 Decision-making framework to aid integration   15
                                                                5. Infrastructure Assessment                                 33
1.6 Strategy content                                      16
     1.6.1 Catchment outlines                             16   6. Demand Forecast                                           36
     1.6.2 Water Systems Atlas                            17   6.1 Demand uncertainty                                       36
     1.6.3 Drought Preparedness Plan                      17      6.1.1 Population growth                                   36
                                                                   6.1.2 Residential water consumption trends                37
2. North East Water Region                                18
                                                                   6.1.3 Commercial and industrial consumption trends        38
2.1 Overview of systems and supply sources                18
                                                                   6.1.4 Public open space demand                            38
                                                                6.2 Methodology                                              39
3. Recent Experience                                      21
                                                                6.3 Current demand                                           40
3.1 Previous UWS development                              21
                                                                6.4 Future system demand                                     41
3.2 Supply augmentation                                   21
                                                                   6.4.1 Climate change                                      42
3.3 Droughts and floods                                   22
                                                                   6.4.2 Future commercial and industrial demand             43
     3.3.1 Millennium Drought – from 1997 to 2009 and
     recent recovery                                      22   6.5 Summary of demands                                       44
     3.3.2 Drought response                               24
     3.3.3 Floods – 2010 and 2011                         24

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North East Water

7. Supply Forecast                                     45   13. Community and Stakeholder Engagement          70
7.1 Methodology                                        45   13.1 Community engagement                          70
    7.1.1 Selecting scenarios                          45       13.1.1 Outcomes                                72
    7.1.2 Selecting climate scenarios                  46   13.2 Stakeholder engagement                        73
    7.1.3 Baseline yield and reliability               47   13.3 Aboriginal engagement                         73
7.2 Supply uncertainty                                 48
    7.2.1 Climate variability                          48   14. References                                     74

    7.2.2 Climate change projections                   49
                                                             Appendix A – Description of Demand
    7.2.3 Groundwater yield                            50
                                                             Management Activities                              75
    7.2.4 Environmental requirements                   50
                                                             Permanent water saving rules                       75
    7.2.5 Input data and model uncertainty             50
7.3 Forecast yield                                     50
                                                             Target your water use                              75

8. System Performance Evaluation                       53
                                                             Appendix B – Water Market Measures                 76
8.1 Long-term assessment of performance                53
                                                             Regulated systems                                  76
8.2 Short-term assessment of performance               54
                                                             Unregulated systems                                76
    8.2.1 Outlook components                           54
                                                             Access to entitlement                              76
    8.2.2 Outlook methods                              54
                                                             Appendix C – Project Involvement                   79
9. Analysing the Supply Demand Balance                56
                                                             Project control group                              79
9.1 Provision of minimum and agreed level of service   56
                                                             Technical working group                            79
                                                             Urban Water strategy project team                  79
10. A
     pproaches to Provide Service Levels              59
                                                             Stakeholder project reference group                80
10.1 Classification of initiatives                     59
    10.1.1 Loss reduction                              59
                                                             Glossary of Terms                                  81
    10.1.2 Demand management                           59
    10.1.3 Using water markets                         60
    10.1.4 Supply augmentation                         60
10.2 Options considered                                61

11. E valuation and Prioritisation of Measures        62

12. Implementation                                     67
12.1 Short-term actions                                68

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North East Water

List of Figures

Figure 1:   Reliability of North East Water’s systems at present and under high climate change                                   08
Figure 2:   North East Water’s Strategic Intent                                                                                  13
Figure 3:   Alignment within North East Water’s Strategic Intent                                                                 14
Figure 4:   North East Water’s decision-making framework to ensure reliability of supply in the long and short term              16
Figure 5:   North East Water’s area of operation and supply catchments                                                           18
Figure 6:   Long-term annual rainfall at Beechworth (station 082001)                                                             23
Figure 7:   Long‑term annual inflow to Lake Buffalo                                                                              23
Figure 8:   Regional map showing systems least resilient and most vulnerable to climate hazards                                  27
Figure 9:   Bushfire extents in North East Water’s supply region                                                                 28
Figure 10: Illustrative change in catchment runoff after bushfire                                                                29
Figure 11: Typical factors influencing urban water demand (from Turner et al., 2010)                                             36
Figure 12: Historical residential consumption per connection for Wodonga                                                         37
Figure 13: Historical commercial and industrial consumption for Wodonga                                                          38
Figure 14: Clear water demand breakdown for Benalla                                                                              39
Figure 15: Example demand regression fitted to treated water data (Wahgunyah / Rutherglen)                                       40
Figure 16: Forecast demand to 2065 for Wahgunyah / Rutherglen                                                                    42
Figure 17: Process to select climate scenarios (DELWP 2016b)                                                                     46
Figure 18: Yield and demand over the planning horizon (example only)                                                             53
Figure 19: Reliability and demand over the planning horizon (example only)                                                       54
Figure 20: Forecast supply demand balance for Beechworth                                                                         58
Figure 21: Supply mix scenarios for Beechworth at 2065                                                                           58
Figure 22: Location and type of engagement activities undertaken across North East Water’s Region                                71

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North East Water

List of Tables

Table 1:   Priority actions for those systems where modelling resulted in shortfalls prior to 2040                             09
Table 2:   Overview of catchments                                                                                              19
Table 3:   Summary of supply system changes under WSDS 2012 and associated outcomes                                            21
Table 4:   Summary of supply system changes that did not proceed under WSDS 2012                                               22
Table 5:   Shifts in seasonal rainfall since 1997 at Beechworth                                                                24
Table 6:   Identification and description of climate hazards                                                                   26
Table 7:   Summary of education activities completed (2012/13 to 2015/16)                                                      30
Table 8:   Summary of studies to support supply augmentations                                                                  31
Table 9:   Planned or likely projects and / or upgrades over the next 25 years                                                 34
Table 10: Treatment and distribution losses adopted for the purpose of demand forecasting for the UWS                          41
Table 11: Climate change adjustment factors by river basin                                                                     43
Table 12: Summary of water and wastewater demand on North East Water services	                                                 44
Table 13: Vulnerability and resilience assessment criteria description                                                         46
Table 14: Current climate baseline yield at 90% reliability and average annual demand for North East Water Systems             47
Table 15: Current climate baseline reliability and average annual demand for North East Water Systems                          47
Table 16: Climate scenarios adopted for North East Water’s systems                                                             48
Table 17: Period of water resource assessment to account for long-term climate variability                                     48
Table 18: Change in climate under future climate change scenarios relative to historical conditions                            49
Table 19: Climate change impacts on temperature and PET                                                                        49
Table 20: Summary of forecast yield under different climate change scenarios for each of North East Water’s systems            51
Table 21: Forecast reliability of Ovens and King towns under climate change scenarios                                          52
Table 22: Provision of minimum and agreed level of service                                                                     56
Table 23: Approaches under operational status                                                                                  59
Table 24: Summary of categories and options considered under each                                                              61
Table 25: Project implementation risk category definitions                                                                     62
Table 26:	Summary of demand, yield, additional water requirements and options for all North East Water Systems under
           high climate change scenario                                                                                        64
Table 27: Summary of reliability for Wangaratta and the King towns                                                             66
Table 28: Long-term actions to ensure reliability of supply across NEW systems                                                 67
Table 29: Short-term actions as a result of supply demand balance assessment                                                   68
Table 30: Short-term actions resulting from the process of undertaking the UWS                                                 69
Table 31: Reach achieved through each engagement activity across the North East Water region                                   71
Table 32: North East Water customer values ranked by customers                                                                 72
Table 33: Common forms of entities to water entitlement used in Victoria                                                       77
Table 34: Flexibility to trade water                                                                                           78

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North East Water

List of Acronyms

 Acronym            Definition
 BE                 Bulk Entitlement
 CIV                Commercial, Industrial and Vacant land customers.
 CWS                Clear Water Storage
 DELWP              Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
 DHHS               Department of Health and Human Services
 DPP                Drought Preparedness Plan (previously the Drought Response Plan (DRP))
 EPA                Environmental Protection Authority Victoria
 ESC                Essential Services Commission
 EWR                Environmental Water Reserve
 GCM                Global Climate Model / General Circulation Model
 GMW                Goulburn-Murray Water
 IWM                Integrated Water Management
 MDB                Murray Darling Basin
 ML                 Megalitre (1 million litres)
 PET                Potential Evapotranspiration
 RDV                Regional Development Victoria
 RGS                Regional Growth Strategy
 TWTP               Trade Waste Treatment Plant
 UWS                Urban Water Strategy (previously the Water Supply Demand Strategy)
 VIF                Victorian in Future
 WOWCM              Whole of Water Cycle Management
 WSDS               Water Supply Demand Strategy
 WTP                Water Treatment Plant
 WWTP               Waste Water Treatment Plant

      Please note: This document has been reissued on 31 July 2017.

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North East Water


Background                                                          Definitions
North East Water sought community and stakeholder feedback          Level of Service is a measure of North East Water’s ability
for this Urban Water Strategy (UWS) prior to the finalisation and   to maintain a reliable water supply to meet the needs of its
submission to the Minister for Water in March 2017. The UWS         customers. Level of service objectives, for the purposes of this
is a detailed 50 year supply and demand balance required by         UWS, are defined by an agreed level of service and a minimum
the Minister for Water under our Statement of Obligations. The      level of service.
UWS provides information to help with planning water supply
                                                                    The agreed level of service is defined as the long-term annual
now and into the future. While it covers a 50 year time period,
                                                                    reliability of supply. North East Water aims to provide an agreed
a detailed review is undertaken every five years to ensure the
                                                                    level of service of 90% which equates to restrictions occurring
most up-to-date knowledge and trends are included. As such
                                                                    not more frequently than one year in 10 on average in the long
in 2012 North East Water delivered its Water Supply Demand
                                                                    term. This reflects recent community expectations for long-term
Strategy (WSDS), the previous version of this document. The
                                                                    reliability of supply based on historical experience and previous
UWS considers supply and demand projections for all townships
                                                                    community consultation.
supplied by North East Water under a range of climate change
scenarios that have been determined by the State Government.        The minimum level of service is the minimum volume of
The strategy considers supply enhancement and demand                water which North East Water has planned to provide customers
management measures to maintain a reliable water supply.            during a severe drought. It is the component of demand that
                                                                    can’t be restricted, and includes in-house demand, commercial
The strategy also includes a number of
                                                                    and industrial demand. North East Water plans to provide this
accompanying documents.
                                                                    volume under a repeat of the worst drought on record.
•   The Drought Preparedness Plan (DPP) – was revised in
    early 2017 and contains the measures required to provide        Reliability of supply is used in this UWS to indicate whether
    minimum supply during drought years when it can become          the agreed level of service is being met. It is a measure of how
    necessary to restrict demand. As part of this 2017 UWS,         often water restrictions could be expected to occur on average in
    North East Water will work with local government and            the long-term over a given climate sequence, with a given set of
    communities to prioritise which public open spaces and          operating rules and infrastructure, and at a given demand level.
    sporting fields be kept green during drought periods. North     If supply system behaviour is assessed using 100 years of climate
    East Water will recognise community sentiment and any           and streamflow data, and restrictions occur in five of those years
    prioritised facilities in its future DPP.                       under current demand, then the system is said to have a current
                                                                    reliability of 95%. If supply system behaviour is re-assessed at
•   The Water Systems Atlas – provides an inventory of all urban
                                                                    a future, higher level of demand under a drier future climate
    water resources for each town including those resources
                                                                    scenario, then reliability may drop, because restrictions could be
    such as stormwater, surface and ground water that are often
                                                                    assessed as occurring more frequently.
    managed by local government and other organisations.
•   Catchment Outlines – provides more specific and detailed        Yield is a measure of how much water can be supplied from
    information relating to the assessment of the water delivery    a supply system at a specified level of reliability. It is calculated
    systems capacity to meet increased water demand and             as the average annual demand supplied over the period of
    outlines options to ensure demand can be met until at           assessment. There is usually a relationship between yield
    least 2040.                                                     and reliability, in that yield decreases as the desired reliability
                                                                    increases. So a given system may be able to supply 100 ML
North East Water provides water and sewerage services to an         at 90% reliability but only 80 ML at 95% reliability. Yield is
estimated 110,000 people across North East Victoria. The region     connected to the way a system is set up and run, so if system
has been broken into seven river basins for the purposes of this    infrastructure (e.g. pump size) or operating rules (e.g. restriction
UWS and a catchment outline contains the relevant details for       triggers) change then the yield changes. Yield also changes if the
each system within that river basin. These catchment outlines are   characteristics of the period of assessment changes, e.g. under
complementary documents to this UWS document.                       climate change.
                                                                    Yield projections are directly compared with demand projections
                                                                    in this UWS to indicate the timing of future actions by North
                                                                    East Water to maintain target level of service standards. Where
                                                                    it is impractical to estimate yield, reliability of supply has been
                                                                    projected over the 50 year planning horizon.

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UWS approach and                                                   trends. In Benalla, Wangaratta and Wodonga two demands were
                                                                   derived, one assuming the standard commercial and industrial

                                                                   growth assumption and another with a high growth assumption
                                                                   for the commercial and industrial portion of demand.
                                                                   Yackandandah’s water availability was also examined further by
Analysis of current level of demands was undertaken by various     posing a second high growth scenario, which represents a higher
sectors; residential, commercial and industrial with an audit of   growth than Victoria in Future predictions. This scenario is in
public open spaces and an account of losses. A demand model        response to the observed growth in new residential connections
was fitted to recent consumption data to estimate current          over the last decade.
demands over a long climatic period, taking into account the
                                                                   Water availability was assessed using Resource Allocation
influence of climate on water consumption. Population and
                                                                   Models (REALM) for each supply system, except for the Murray
demand were then both projected out to the year 2065.
                                                                   River which was assessed using North East Water’s Murray
Population projections were based predominantly on Victoria        System Allocation Account Model, which utilises inputs from
in Future (VIF) figures provided by the State Government,          the MDBA/DELWP’s MSM-BIGMOD river system model. Model
except where the recent trend in the number of property water      layout and rules were updated as a first step to ensure they
connections was widely different from VIF projections. The final   were representative of the present situation. Both Walwa and
demand projections included an allowance for future population     Dartmouth do not constitute part of any REALM model, and
growth, the influence of climate change on projected demands,      assessment using streamflow data indicated that their water
and commercial/industrial growth in major urban centres, as        availability is very secure, thus no further assessment was carried
informed by regional growth strategies and recent water use        out for these two towns.

Figure 1: Reliability of North East Water’s systems at present and under high climate change

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After an estimate of current yield and/or reliability, an assessment   review when the next revision of the UWS is completed in five
was carried out in line with the Guidelines for Assessing the          years’ time. In addition to towns where level of service objectives
Impact of Climate Change on Water Supplies in Victoria (DELWP,         were projected to no longer be met under the do-nothing
2016b) to determine the potential impacts of future climate            scenarios, Corryong and Harrietville were also placed on this list
change for supply systems assessed as being at risk of those           due to uncertainties, or significant changes to the modelling
changes. This analysis resulted in all (low, medium, high and          outcomes relative to the previous WSDS.
post-1997 step change) climate scenarios being adopted for all
systems except Benalla, Corryong, Harrietville, Mount Beauty
and Myrtleford which were deemed to be of lower risk.                  Actions and options
System yield and/or reliability was assessed at both 2040 and
2065 under the climate scenarios presented above – and                 Actions and options were broken into five categories:
compared to forecast demand to assess the long-term supply             •   Demand management
demand balance. The results of undertaking this comparison are         •   Loss reduction
shown in the figure over the page which also shows North East
                                                                       •   Water market measures
Water’s region and systems, broken down by river basin.
                                                                       •   Supply augmentation
Analysis of the long-term supply and demand balance resulted
                                                                       •   Drought preparedness measures
in the Murray, Wangaratta, and King River towns being the only
systems where level of service objectives could no longer be met       Demand management and loss reduction are considered to be
prior to 2040 under any climate change condition and without           relevant to all systems, and should be integrated as business as
intervention by North East Water. A second high growth scenario        usual. A loss reduction program has been identified as a priority
for the Yackandandah township meant that the agreed reliability        action in the UWS and targets set for those towns where losses
could not be met under any climate change scenario by the year         are higher than desired (state wide average).
2026. It should be noted that the growth scenario was quite
                                                                       Water market measures and supply augmentation were only
aggressive and represented a large number of allotments being
                                                                       considered for systems where level of service objectives were
developed by the year 2040. This could be representative of the
                                                                       projected to no longer be met by 2040 under the do-nothing
growth seen in this peri-urban centre in recent years.
                                                                       scenario, which as stated above, were the Murray system,
Despite this, some systems outside of this group will be placed        Wangaratta and the King River towns. Table 1 summarises the
on watching briefs to ensure they undergo a complete modelling         priority actions for these three systems.

Table 1: Priority actions for those systems where modelling resulted in shortfalls prior to 2040

 System                  Priority Actions
 Murray                  Implement purchasing strategy
                         Results of the modelling carried out for this UWS should be integrated into the revised Murray purchasing
                         strategy, to ensure that the agreed level of service can continue to be met for the Murray towns.
                         Investigate Integrated Water Management (IWM) options to reduce demand or substitute potable
                         IWM options could be used to either reduce demand (such as installation of rainwater tanks) or to substitute
                         potable consumption (such as reclaimed water irrigation or stormwater harvesting). The range of options
                         under this banner is extensive and determination of an appropriate goal will need to be resolved.

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 System              Priority Actions
 Kiewa Catchment –   Modelling transfer of entitlement from Beechworth to Yackandandah
 Yackandandah and    Further modelling can be undertaken to understand what additional Bulk Entitlement could be reliably
 Beechworth          harvested from Yackandandah using the current supply source and infrastructure. This will be completed
                     by using some of the Bulk Entitlement from Beechworth in the REALM model and assessing what affect
                     it has on the yield for both Beechworth and Yackandandah. It may be found that an increase in the Bulk
                     Entitlement for Yackandandah may not improve the amount of water which can be reliably harvested due to
                     lack of inflows during certain times of the year.
                     Groundwater investigation
                     A number of desktop studies have previously been completed to explore opportunities to supplement supply
                     to Yackandandah through the One Resource project. Whilst there appeared to be limited opportunities for
                     groundwater in close vicinity of the township, the community preference was to utilise local water resources
                     in preference to piping water from outside of the catchment. Further physical exploration work may be
                     completed to confirm the likelihood of utilising groundwater to supplement existing surface water resources.
                     It may be worthwhile to understand the groundwater options for Beechworth as part of this investigation.
                     Review supplementary supply concepts covered in the One Resource project for Yackandandah
                     and investigate Integrated Water Management (IWM) options to explore additional water
                     resources to help meet potential increased future demand. Options will also address demand
                     reduction measures or substitute potable consumption
                     A body of work was completed between 2008 and 2012 as part of the One Resource project to
                     understand how a number of alternative water supply options could help to supplement future demands in
                     It is proposed that these concepts are revisited in order to understand how North East Water might best
                     address potential shortfalls in Yackandandah, should growth proceed at a rate flagged in the second
                     scenario. Some of these options included, treated piped supply from Wodonga, raw water supply from the
                     Kiewa River, construction of an off stream storage and development of groundwater.
                     It is intended that some of this work could be utilised during the IWM forums to commence conversations on
                     how North East Water might approach potential high residential growth in Yackandandah. The impact and
                     effect of other options will be addressed such as demand reduction (such as installation of rainwater tanks)
                     and potable substitution for outdoor areas (such as reclaimed water irrigation or stormwater harvesting).
 Wangaratta and      Liaise with Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) concerning the triggers and their impact on reliability
 King River Towns    results
                     It was found that the GMW triggers were very sensitive to changes in inflows under climate change. This
                     has resulted in the model forecasting a reduction in reliability for both Wangaratta and the King River
                     townships. It is recommended that North East Water and Goulburn-Murray Water work together to develop
                     new triggers which are appropriate for climate change conditions.
                     Continue to investigate and implement additional groundwater supply to not only augment
                     existing supply but improve resilience at Wangaratta
                     Restrictions can be delayed or a less severe level of restriction can be applied if North East Water supplements
                     its water supply with groundwater. The bore at Kerr Street can be utilised at a rate of 3ML/d (limited by the
                     capacity of package treatment plant). It presently has a licence to extract a maximum of 6ML/d.
                     Works are underway to amend the licence agreement of this bore subject to the results of pumping
                     tests and approval from Goulburn-Murray Water. The aim is to be able to extract enough water to meet
                     Wangaratta’s unrestricted daily demand of 12.4ML/d. A more permanent treatment facility would be
                     required to treat the higher volumes.
                     An augmented groundwater supply would be able to permanently supplement current supply to meet and
                     maintain 90% reliability under both the current and future climate change scenarios.
                     Undertake a preliminary assessment of the potential for groundwater or raw water storage for
                     Moyhu, Oxley and Whitfield.
                     Should the negotiations to alter the restriction triggers for the King River townships be unsuccessful, further
                     assessment would be required to understand the potential for groundwater to supplement supply to these
                     towns, or supply augmentation in the way of raw water storage to address level of service issues.

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North East Water

1. Introduction

                                                                     The scope of the UWS is confined to communities that North
    North East Water’s Urban Water Strategy (UWS) seeks to           East Water currently provides water and wastewater services
    identify the best mix of measures to maintain a balance          to. Although it does not provide direction for unserviced areas
    between the demand for water and available supply in             (e.g. small towns without a reticulated potable water service),
    urban supply systems now and into the future. The UWS:           these opportunities are being explored through the outcomes
    •   has a 50 year timeframe                                      of North East Water’s Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) and
                                                                     Domestic Wastewater Management Plans.
    •   contains actions which
        –   consider the total water cycle, consistent with the
            principles of integrated urban water management;
        –   support the development of resilient and
            liveable communities;
                                                                     1.2 Objectives of the UWS
        –   balance social, environmental and economic costs         The objectives of the UWS are to facilitate efficient and effective
            and benefits; and                                        urban water and related wastewater planning and investment
        –   take account of the consequences and                     across North East Victoria, to:
            uncertainty associated with population growth,           •   ensure safe, secure, reliable and affordable water services
            climate change and climate variability.                      that meet society’s long-term needs.
    •   is reviewed on a five-yearly basis in accordance             •   encourage the sustainable use of all water resources –
        with any guidelines issued by the Department of                  including rainwater, stormwater and recycled water and
        Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).                   rainfall-independent supplies in ways that are efficient
                                                                         and fit-for-purpose, whilst ensuring that public and
                                                                         environmental health are protected.
                                                                     •   enhance the liveability, productivity, prosperity and
                                                                         environment of our cities and towns.
1.1 Scope                                                            •   ensure that water needs of environmental assets are
                                                                         transparently considered.
The UWS provides strategic direction for the planning and            •   provide for a transparent and rigorous decision-making
management of water and related wastewater services at                   process, with clear roles, responsibilities and accountabilities,
the whole of business level and for each individual system.              which can adapt to the changing environment.
According to the Statement of Obligations issued by the Minister
for Water (DELWP, 2015) it should consider all aspects of the
urban water cycle across a 50 year planning horizon and be
consistent with the guiding principles of this Statement and any
relevant Sustainable Water Strategy. It must include:                1.3 Principles for UWS
    proposed levels of service;
    measures to deliver sub-regional planning outcomes,
    and integrate water cycle management with relevant               The following principles have been applied in the development
    planning schemes;                                                of the UWS.
•   options to facilitate efficient investments in projects across   •   Customers should be consulted on their willingness and
    the urban water cycle that optimise shared benefits and              ability to pay for levels of service.
    avoidable costs;
                                                                     •   Planning should be based on the best available information
•   measures to adapt to climate change;                                 about current and future water resources.
•   measures to maintain a balance between the customer’s            •   Planning should be scenario-based, incorporating uncertainty
    demand for water and the supply of water in cities                   in supply and demand, and where possible should incorporate
    and towns;                                                           future economic development and land use planning.
•   options for the management of extreme event supply
    contingencies; and
•   options and trigger points for major augmentations.

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North East Water

•    An integrated water management approach should be taken                   The demand and supply projection under these conditions forms
     when developing and assessing options. All potential water                the baseline scenario for North East Water’s assessment of the
     sources and demand options require consideration while also               future supply and demand balance. This enables North East
     meeting public health and environmental regulations.                      Water to assess how sensitive its current supply system is to
•    All servicing options should be assessed on a robust and                  future uncertainties. Supply options can also present differences
     transparent basis, examining the social, environmental and                in resilience and ability to provide security of supply. This is taken
     economic costs and benefits and taking into account specific              into consideration when assessing actions developed as part of
     system characteristics.                                                   the strategy.
•    Value of individual options to the overall supply-demand
     portfolio should recognise supply characteristics (e.g. reliability       1.4.2 Adaptive management
     and flexibility) as well as how much water they can produce.
                                                                               Adaptive management is a systematic process of continually
•    Pricing and markets should be used to help balance the
                                                                               improving management policies and practices by learning
     supply and demand for water, where it is efficient and
                                                                               from management actions and using that learning to improve
     feasible to do so.
                                                                               the next stage of management (Holling, 1978). Adaptive
•    Plans and strategies should be flexible to reflect additional             management is required in water planning, as our knowledge of
     information and knowledge as it comes to hand, as well as                 future conditions is uncertain. This includes changes to natural
     changing circumstances.                                                   systems, the regulatory environment in which North East Water
                                                                               operates and shifts in community preferences and behaviour
                                                                               over time.

1.4 Approaches to decision                                                     The UWS, as a 50 year planning document that is reviewed on
                                                                               a five yearly cycle, inherently ensures an adaptive management

making under uncertainty                                                       approach. Updated knowledge (i.e. changed customer
                                                                               behaviour, improved knowledge on climate change impacts etc.)
                                                                               is used to ensure planning and management approaches keep
                                                                               pace with improved knowledge levels.
1.4.1 Scenario planning                                                        This UWS recommends actions to collect further information in
There are numerous uncertainties which can affect future                       supply systems where supply availability is uncertain. This defers
demand and/or water availability in North East Victoria. Based                 potentially costly or unnecessary infrastructure investments until
on the advice in DELWP’s UWS guidelines and Climate Change                     more is known about likely future supply system conditions. As
Guidance (DELWP, 2016a and 2016b), North East Water has                        a result of reductions in per capita water use due to changes
undertaken a combination of scenario planning and adaptive                     in customer behaviour long-term actions proposed in previous
management approaches to address these uncertainties.                          WSDSs have been deferred or are no longer required in some
                                                                               supply systems.
North East Water adopted a baseline demand and supply
scenario over the next 50 years using:                                         Being ready for these changes in conditions is important.
•    Victoria in Future (VIF) population projections for residential           North East Water is committed to progressing its program of
     population growth1                                                        investigations and design outlined in this UWS so that demand
                                                                               reduction and supply enhancement measures are ready to
•    anticipated changes in industrial/commercial demand in
                                                                               implement if future conditions change. Equally, North East Water
     individual supply systems
                                                                               will defer large capital expenditure where small improvements in
•    an adjustment for future climate change using a range of                  knowledge over time could have a large bearing on the timing
     climate change projections                                                and magnitude of that expenditure.
•    a current-climate baseline using reference climate data from
     the post-19752 period

1    Where a system’s connection history presented a growth pattern that did not correlate well to VIF growth rates an alternative growth rate
     was adopted.
2    Adjusting the historical climate sequence to represent post-1975 conditions creates a long-term climate series that is representative of current
     climate at recent levels of greenhouse gas emissions (DELWP, 2016b)

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North East Water

1.5 Decision-making framework for guiding action
Policy and strategy forming at North East Water is guided by the Strategic Intent. The Strategic Intent sets out a series of Ambition
Statements for the five operational portfolios of People / Environment / Water Services / Assets and Infrastructure / Customers and
Community, as shown below in Figure 2.

Figure 2: North East Water’s Strategic Intent

The UWS sits under the ‘Assets and Infrastructure’ ambition complementing the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS), Asset Management
Strategy and Climate Adaption Strategy as shown in Figure 3.

Urban Water Strategy 2017                                                                                                               13
North East Water

Figure 3: Alignment within North East Water’s Strategic Intent

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North East Water

1.5.1 Water supply planning                                            1.5.2 Drought Preparedness Plan
This section of the UWS outlines the role of North East Water’s        North East Water updated its DPP in 2017 in parallel with the
short and long-term water supply planning tools and how they           update of its UWS. Common elements of the two plans include:
interlink. North East Water has three key water supply planning        •   common supply system descriptions
tools which form its integrated decision making framework.
                                                                       •   a common set of demand models
1. UWS – a proactive tool that sets out water supply and               •   common level of service targets, and
   demand measures needed to manage water supply growth
                                                                       •   use of the same water resource models to assess supply
   and climate change over the next 50 years.
                                                                           system performance.
2. Drought Preparedness Plan (DPP) – an operational tool that
                                                                       The DPP was prepared in accordance with DELWP’s Guidelines
   informs how to respond to water shortages if they arise in
                                                                       for the Development of Urban Water Strategies, which includes
   the immediate to short term; e.g. if inflows are worse than
                                                                       a section on DPPs. The DPP is required to incorporate past
   expected (includes the Drought Response Plan)
                                                                       Drought Response Plans as well as actions that North East Water
3. Water Outlook – short-term, forward-looking projections on          will undertake to ensure that communities are prepared for the
   a scenario basis that help to identify when actions scoped          eventuality of drought. The DPP is a separate supplementary
   either in the UWS or DPP need to be implemented to ensure           document. For each supply system, the DPP discusses the
   water security. (That is, which “tools from the tool-box”           short-term actions available during drought and provides triggers
   should be chosen for use.)                                          for implementing those actions under future climate conditions.
The UWS sets out when particular actions might be needed over
a 50 year planning period to maintain minimum and agreed               1.5.3 Decision-making framework to
levels of service. In contrast, the DPP sets out the short-term
actions that could be needed during drought or severe water            aid integration
quality events in order to maintain the minimum level of service.      The role of these three water planning tools in North East
These short-term actions can include temporarily using alternative     Water’s integrated decision-making framework for action
supply sources, carting water or temporarily introducing water         are shown in Figure 4. North East Water will develop an
restrictions, as has occurred across North East Victoria during        implementation plan as part of this UWS, which will identify
drought. Drought response actions can be implemented quickly           some actions beyond the timeline of UWS review (more than
in response to an immediate need, but may not necessarily be the       five years). Actions may be either deferred or brought forward
most cost effective solution in the long term.                         depending on the climate conditions or changes in demand.
North East Water’s UWS presents a timetable to implement               When faced with a possible future water shortage, North East
demand reduction and supply enhancement measures over the              Water considers a number of factors before deciding whether
next 50 years. When faced with a drought that threatens supply         to implement a temporary drought response measure or a
security, North East Water has a choice about whether to bring         long-term measure identified in the UWS. These include:
forward a planned long-term action, or to implement a short-term       •   Lead indicators of drought. Supply systems which can display
action, thereby deferring a long-term action until it is more likely       early warning signs of drought allow UWS response options
to be utilised on an ongoing basis. By integrating the planning            with long lead times to be implemented. For example, low
processes for the UWS and DPP, North East Water is able to                 allocations for towns supplied from the River Murray are
directly compare short- and long-term options to make the best             generally known well in advance, whilst low river flows for
decision about which actions to implement at any given time.               towns supplied from local tributaries are sometimes only
The Water Outlook demonstrates whether a supply system can                 known a few weeks in advance.
provide sufficient water security in the short term, or whether        •   Duration of drought. Longer duration droughts allow UWS
action needs to be taken. It therefore informs whether the                 response options with long lead times to be implemented.
prioritised list of actions determined in the UWS is the most              Forecast supply system behaviour and the Bureau of
appropriate or whether actions should be brought forward                   Meteorology’s seasonal climate forecasts provide a broad
or delayed.                                                                indication of likely drought duration.
                                                                       •   Lead time for response action. An action in the UWS must
                                                                           be able to be implemented quickly if it is to be an effective
                                                                           drought response measure. If the lead time is longer than
                                                                           the time available until reliability of supply to customers is
                                                                           threatened, then the action will not help to maintain North
                                                                           East Water’s minimum level of service during the drought.
                                                                       •   Cost of implementation. Depending on the likely duration of
                                                                           drought, the cost of implementing a UWS measure may be
                                                                           more or less than the cost of implementing a measure from
                                                                           the Drought Preparedness Plan.

Urban Water Strategy 2017                                                                                                                   15
North East Water

Figure 4: North East Water’s decision-making framework to ensure reliability of supply in the long and
short term

                                                                    •   Evaluating and analysing the performance of systems in
1.6 Strategy content                                                    terms of our infrastructure and the supply and demand
                                                                        balance under differing future climate scenarios (Sections 5,
Documentation prepared to support the UWS                               8 and 9).
development includes:                                               •   Applying North East Water’s decision-making framework to
•    UWS document (this document)                                       classify and evaluate options to meet levels of service where
•    the catchment outlines for each of the seven systems               required and summarising with a timeline for implementation
     for which North East Water is responsible                          (Sections 10, 11 and 12).

•    the Water Systems Atlas                                        •   Describing how North East Water engaged with customers,
                                                                        stakeholders, the Aboriginal Community and Traditional
•    the Drought Preparedness Plan
                                                                        Owners to finalise the Strategy (Section 13).
This UWS has been prepared in accordance with the guidelines
issued by DELWP (DELWP, 2016a). An overview of the process
used to develop the UWS is summarised below:                        1.6.1 Catchment outlines
•    Setting the context for the strategy by identifying North      The UWS is complemented by a number of short reports termed
     East Water’s region and lessons from recent experience and     catchment outlines. The origin of each townships water supply
     the key challenges likely to be encountered over the next      determines which catchment outline it will be reported under.
     50 years (Sections 2 and 3)
                                                                    Each catchment outline provides more specific and detailed
•    Analysing the supply and demand balance, including             information relating to the assessment of the water delivery
     confirming levels of service, projected demand and projected   systems capacity to meet increased water demand and outlines
     supply (Sections 4, 6 and 7).                                  options to ensure demand can be met until at least 2040.

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North East Water

1.6.2 Water Systems Atlas
The water systems atlas has been developed to present an:
•   Overview of infrastructure associated with each catchment
    and townships
•   Location and current water resources, alternative water
    sources (e.g. groundwater, stormwater, reclaimed water)
    and existing ‘off grid’ initiatives. This overview has been
    captured in a series of catchment and system maps
    together with some high level commentary. Some more
    detailed information on existing and potential alternative
    water use arrangements has been summarised in the
    accompanying tables.
The purpose of the Water Systems Atlas is to highlight
the diverse nature of each system and its resilience and
inform further option analysis and integrated water projects
going forward.

1.6.3 Drought Preparedness Plan
The plan sets out the actions that will be needed to prepare for
and respond to water shortages if they arise in the immediate
to short term (e.g. if inflows are worse than expected under the
assumptions on which Urban Water Strategies are based, or in
response to water quality issues).
The DPP describes how North East Water will prepare for
and manage its systems during the following types of
extreme events:
•   An extreme dry period
•   A water quality event of an intensity, magnitude and
    duration that is sufficient to render water unsuitable for
    treatment and supply.
The plan incorporates actions that North East Water will
undertake to ensure that communities are prepared for the
eventuality of drought. This will be initially captured by outlining
a process which North East Water proposes to undertake to
capture community sentiment regarding maintaining community
assets during times of drought. For example, maintaining
minimum watering for significant community parks and gardens
or sporting or recreational facilities which could deteriorate
during severe water restrictions.
The DPP details the management actions to meet critical
human water needs during the above events. The DPP has been
reviewed and updated as part of the Urban Water Strategy
and will also be reviewed and updated within 12 months of
either the lifting of any period of water restrictions or the
augmentation of any water supply system.

Urban Water Strategy 2017                                                           17
North East Water

2. North East Water Region

                                                                           North East Water sources water from various locations which
     North East Water is a regional urban water                            are detailed in Table 2. The management of these sources
     corporation that:                                                     is undertaken by various bodies but predominantly by
                                                                           Goulburn-Murray Water. These water sources are used to supply
     •   provides water and wastewater services to an
                                                                           water for multiple purposes including irrigation, rural water users,
         estimated population of 110,000 people across North
                                                                           hydropower generation, the environment as well as the urban
         East Victoria
                                                                           supply to towns under the responsibility of North East Water.
     •   provides water services to 41 localities as shown in
         Figure 5 and 50,000 connections
     •   produces up to 16,000 ML/yr of drinking water

         through 21 water treatment plants3
         provides wastewater services to 28 localities and
                                                                           2.1 Overview of systems
         nearly 45,000 connections
         treats approximately 9,800 ML/yr of wastewater
                                                                           and supply sources
         through 20 wastewater treatment plants                            The UWS is complemented by catchment outlines, covering
     •   produces approximately 2,600 ML of water suitable                 the water supply and wastewater service for each system. An
         for re-use from its 16 reuse schemes.                             overview of the seven catchments highlighting water source,
                                                                           townships serviced, wastewater services and discharge point is
                                                                           shown in Table 2. A map of North East Water’s region broken
                                                                           into these systems is shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5: North East Water’s area of operation and supply catchments

3    In 2017 Goorambat will be connected to the Murray system via a pipeline from Yarrawonga and will therefore no longer use its own water
     treatment plant, reducing the overall number of water treatment plants to 20.

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North East Water

Table 2: Overview of catchments 4

 Catchment          Township serviced          Water source                       Wastewater services             Discharge point
                    for water
 Broken             Benalla                    Ryans Creek at Loombah             Benalla                         Reuse
 Kiewa              Beechworth                 Nine Mile Creek                    Beechworth                      Reuse + Reedy Creek
                    Mount Beauty               West Kiewa River / AGL             Mount Beauty –                  Reuse + Kiewa River
                                               Diversion Tunnel at Mt             tertiary treatment
                    Tawonga                    Beauty                             Partially serviced (pumped to
                                                                                  Mount Beauty)
                    Tawonga South                                                 Pumped to Mount Beauty
                    Yackandandah               Nine Mile Creek                    Yackandandah – lagoons          Reuse
 Murray             Bellbridge                 Murray at Lake Hume                Bellbridge – lagoons            Reuse
                    Tallangatta                Murray at Lake Hume                Tallangatta – lagoons           Reuse
                    Wahgunyah                  Murray at Wahgunyah                Pumped to Rutherglen
                    Rutherglen                                                    Rutherglen – lagoons            Reuse4
                    Wodonga                    Murray at Wodonga                  West Wodonga –                  Reuse + Murray River
                                                                                  tertiary treatment
                    Baranduda                                                     Pumped to Wodonga
                    Bonegilla / Ebden                                             Partially serviced, pumped to
                    Kiewa                                                         Pumped to Wodonga
                    Tangambalanga                                                 Pumped to Wodonga
                    Barnawartha                                                   Pumped to Wodonga
                    Chiltern                                                      Chiltern – lagoons              Reuse
                    Springhurst                                                   No service
                    Yarrawonga                 Murray at Lake Mulwala             Yarrawonga – lagoons            Reuse
                    Tungamah                                                      Tungamah – lagoons              Reuse
                    St James                                                      No service
                    Devenish                                                      No service
                    Goorambat                                                     No service
                    Bundalong                                                     Bundalong – lagoons             Evaporation
                    Eskdale                    Mitta Mitta at Eskdale             No service

4   Reuse includes agricultural and horticultural irrigation as well as urban public open space irrigation

Urban Water Strategy 2017                                                                                                                19
North East Water

 Catchment            Township serviced           Water source                       Wastewater services                       Discharge point
                      for water
 Ovens                Bright                      Ovens at Freeburgh                 Pumped to Porepunkah
 and King             Porepunkah                                                     Porepunkah – lagoons                      Reuse5 + Ovens River
                      Wandiligong                                                    No service
                      Harrietville                Ovens at Harrietville              No service
                      Myrtleford                  Buffalo Creek at                   Myrtleford – lagoons                      Ovens River
                      Wangaratta                  Ovens at Wangaratta                Wangaratta – lagoons +                    Reuse6 + Reedy Creek /
                                                                                     phosphorus removal                        Yellow Creek
                      Glenrowan                                                      Glenrowan mechanical WWTP                 Reuse
                      Moyhu                       King at Moyhu                      Moyhu – lagoons
                      Oxley                       King at Oxley                      Partly serviced – pumped to
                      Whitfield                   King at Whitfield                  No service
                      No service                  N/A                                Milawa – pumped to Oxley
 Mitta Mitta          Dartmouth                   Mitta Mitta at Dartmouth           Dartmouth – lagoons                       Mitta Mitta River
 Upper Murray         Walwa                       Upper Murray at Walwa              Lagoons                                   Reuse
 Nariel               Corryong                    Nariel Creek at Corryong           Lagoons                                   Reuse
                      Cudgewa                                                        No Service
5 6

Table 2 also shows the source of water supply for each of the systems as well as how effluent is discharged from the wastewater
treatment plant. Details specific to each system can be found in the respective catchment outline including:
•     bulk water entitlements
•     catchment profile
•     storage information
•     water and wastewater treatment processes
•     current and future demand and capacity of treatment plants and
•     delivery and collection infrastructure

5     Reuse used for only urban public open space irrigation
6     Reuse used for agricultural and horticultural irrigation, urban public open space irrigation and industrial use. All other reuse is for agricultural and
      horticultural irrigation purposes only.

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North East Water

3. Recent Experience

                                                                   year in its annual report. The current UWS is a continuation of
   North East Water’s water supply systems have been               this ongoing water resource planning that is being undertaken
   tested by a wide spectrum of climatic conditions since          by North East Water.
   implementing its first WSDS in 2007, which has included
                                                                   A full review and update of the UWS is scheduled to occur every
   one of the driest and wettest years on record. This
                                                                   five years, which gives North East Water the opportunity to
   experience has allowed North East Water to test previous
                                                                   adjust and refine its course of action if conditions change from
   assumptions and as a result North East Water has a
                                                                   currently anticipated.
   higher level of certainty around appropriate drought
   response trigger levels and actions.

                                                                   3.2 Supply augmentation
3.1 Previous UWS                                                   The 2012 WSDS identified a number of augmentation options
                                                                   that have been implemented or where implementation will

development                                                        have commenced prior to the finalisation of this UWS. Supply
                                                                   augmentations and associated outcomes are summarised in
                                                                   Table 3.
North East Water’s previous UWS (then titled a Water Supply
Demand Strategy – WSDS) was prepared in 2012. Since that           In addition to this, the 2012 WSDS also identified a number of
time, North East Water has been tracking progress against the      supply augmentation measures that did not go ahead, either
actions proposed in that strategy, with an update provided each    because the situation was re-assessed or because the need for
                                                                   augmentation was delayed. These are shown in Table 4.

Table 3: Summary of supply system changes under WSDS 2012 and associated outcomes

 Community            Change in system configuration or       Key outcomes                            Status
                      change in system management
 Goorambat            Supply augmented with pipeline from     •   increase supply reliability         To be constructed in 2017
                      Devenish                                •   reduced water quality risks
 Bright,              Design of 520 ML off stream storage     •   increased supply reliability        Delivered 2013–2016
 Porepunkah,          with proposed amendment of Bulk         • reduced water quality risks
 Wandiligong          Water Entitlement.
                                                              •   increased environmental passing
                                                                  flows for Ovens River
 Wangaratta           Augmentation of Ovens River supply      •   increased supply reliability        Phase 1 to provide current
                      source with ground water supplies.      •   alternative source for use in low   supply reliability needs to be
                      (Phase 1)                                   flow conditions                     finalised 2017/18

                      Supply augmented with off stream        •   increased supply reliability        Phase 2 – development of
                      storage or groundwater (Phase 2)        •   increased system resilience         long-term supply security plan
                                                                                                      during 2018–2023 period
 Harrietville         Offtake physically moved from           •   increased supply reliability        Delivered 2013
                      Simmons Creek to Ovens River East       •   avoid issues of low flow and
                      Branch                                      passing flow requirements

Urban Water Strategy 2017                                                                                                              21
North East Water

Table 4: Summary of supply system changes that did not proceed under WSDS 2012

 Community            Original proposed change                     Reason not implemented                 Status
 Corryong             Supply augmented with either off-            Corryong supply deemed secure          Action removed
                      stream storage or groundwater
 Harrietville         Supply augmented with either off-            Move of offtake eliminated the         Emergency supply bore to
                      stream storage, water carting or             need for augmentation option           improve system resilience
                      groundwater                                                                         being investigated for delivery
                                                                                                          in 2017/18

                                                                        3.3.1 Millennium Drought – from 1997 to
3.3 Droughts and floods                                                 2009 and recent recovery
Droughts and floods are a natural feature of the climate in             Long-term rainfall behaviour for a representative rainfall gauge
North East Victoria. Major droughts lasting several years have          (at Beechworth) in North East Water’s supply area is shown
occurred in the early 1900s (the Federation Drought), from the          in Figure 6. The figure indicates that North East Victoria has
mid‑1930s to mid‑1940s (the World War II Drought) and the               experienced several extended periods of below average rainfall
Millennium Drought recently experienced from 1997–2009.                 in the past, notably during the droughts mentioned above.
Severe single year droughts such as in 1967/68 and 1982/83
                                                                        In Victoria, the 13 year period from 1997 to 2009 was
have also occurred at regular intervals. These droughts have
                                                                        particularly dry with rainfall totals markedly below average. At
been interspersed with floods, such as that recently experienced
                                                                        Beechworth, located centrally within North East Water’s supply
in September and October 2016. Other significant flood events
                                                                        region, the average annual rainfall in the 10 year period from
occurred in February 1898, March 1906, April 1959, March
                                                                        1999 to 2008 was 13% less than the long-term average. This
1985, December 1988 and February 2011.
                                                                        is similar to the reduction in rainfall over a comparable ten year
In addition to the need for significant water shortages and             period during the World War II drought (1936–1945).
restrictions, drought and floods can also impact upon water
quality which can affect the capacity to deliver safe drinking
water. General water quality risks at a system level have been
identified in respective catchment outlines. North East Water’s
Drinking Water Quality Risk Management System addresses
water quality risks in more detail.
Flood in particular can impact on wastewater treatment plants,
causing flooding and the need to release effluent in addition to
regulated releases and sewer spills.

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North East Water

Figure 6: Long-term annual rainfall at Beechworth (station 082001)

While the magnitude of the reduction in average rainfall over      several years of above average rainfall over the Millennium
this 13 year period was not greater than in earlier drought        Drought, only one year of above average streamflow was
periods, the corresponding impact on stream flows was much         recorded over this period. Streamflows over the period July 1997
worse than previously observed. Figure 7 shows the long-term       to June 2009 were in the range of 30% to 40% below the
streamflow for a representative site (inflow to Lake Buffalo) in   long‑term average for the region.
North East Victoria. It can be seen in this figure that despite

Figure 7: Long‑term annual inflow to Lake Buffalo

Urban Water Strategy 2017                                                                                                        23
North East Water

There are a number of key differences between the Millennium              autumn rainfall declined by 27%, whilst rainfall at other times
Drought and previous drought events. The Millennium Drought               of the year only reduced by 5–9%. The inclusion of post
was characterised by a sharp reduction in autumn rainfall.                Millennium Drought data (the fifth column in Table 5) shows
Autumn rainfall has been found to be important across Victoria            that autumn rainfall in the post-1997 period has remained
for wetting catchments to generate streamflow in the following            in deficit relative to pre‑1997 long-term averages, and that
Winter/Spring period (DSE, 2009). The shift in seasonal rainfall          summer rainfall has increased significantly as a percentage above
at a representative rainfall gauge in North East Victoria (at             pre‑1997 historical average.
Beechworth) is shown in Table 5, where it can be seen that

Table 5: Shifts in seasonal rainfall since 1997 at Beechworth

 Season                    Seasonal average rainfall (mm)                Change in season      Seasonal average        Change in season
                                                                           average (%)           rainfall (mm)            average (%)
                     1900/01 to 1996/97      1997/98 to 2009/10         between recent (to    1997/98 to 2015/16         between most
                                                                         2010) and historic                             recent (to 2016)
                                                                              rainfall                                and historic rainfall
 Summer                       165                     155                      –6%                     190                   +15%
 Autumn                       228                     168                     –27%                     194                   –15%
 Winter                       345                     313                      –9%                     322                    –7%
 Spring                       260                     246                      –5%                     241                    –7%
 Total                        998                     882                     –12%                     947                    –5%

Relative to earlier droughts, the reduction in streamflow in              •   Several of North East Water’s supply systems make provision
the Millennium Drought was further exacerbated by higher                      for the use of alternative water supply sources:
temperatures across Victoria. Demand for water from other                     –   At Dartmouth, the supply source was changed from Lake
water users upstream of some of North East Water’s offtakes                       Tabor to the Mitta Mitta River due to poor water quality
may have also been higher than in the past, with possible                         conditions caused by bushfires and subsequent algae.
increased interception of runoff in farm dams and diversion of
                                                                              –   At Mount Beauty, the supply source was changed as
water for irrigation.
                                                                                  required from the regular Kiewa River source to the West
                                                                                  Kiewa River and Simmonds Creek sources. This occurs
3.3.2 Drought response                                                            when AGL energy turns off the aqueduct system for
                                                                                  maintenance which results in poor water quality due to
North East Water’s Drought Response Plan (DRP) (2012) was only                    high alkalinity.
activated on the following three occasions during the preceding
                                                                              –   At Bright, the supply source was changed from the Ovens
five years:
                                                                                  River source to the Bright groundwater bore during
•    2011–12: Bundalong Stage 4 restrictions (Bundalong                           periods of poor water quality in the river. This typically
     has since been connected to the Yarrawonga water                             occurred several times a year. The new Bright off River
     supply system)                                                               storage and WTP mitigate the risk of poor water quality.
•    2012–13: Bright – public awareness trigger reached (new                  –   At Harrietville, the supply source was changed a number
     Bright off-river storage and water treatment plant (WTP)                     of times between the Simmons Creek and Ovens River
     have since been completed)                                                   sources as a resilience mechanism due to poor water
•    2013–14: Bright – public awareness trigger reached                           quality. The Simmons Creek source has now been
Key emergency and contingency actions taken during extreme
water shortages included:                                                     –   At Wangaratta, groundwater was used as a resilience
                                                                                  mechanism to supplement the Ovens River source and at
•    North East Water temporarily supplemented supplies from
                                                                                  times was the sole source during periods of poor water
     alternative sources at several of its towns when regular sources
                                                                                  quality caused by fires and flooding.
     of water were physically unavailable or of reduced quality.
     Water was carted during periods which ranged from a single
     day to a number of weeks. This occurred not as a result of           3.3.3 Floods – 2010 and 2011
     water resource availability but as a resilience mechanism when:
                                                                          In contrast to recent trends, the summer of 2010/11 was the
     –   water quality was impacted by bushfires at Harrietville, and
                                                                          wettest in Victoria since records began. Almost two-thirds of the
     –   heavy rainfall resulted in periods of dirty water at Moyhu       State received rainfall with totals above the long-term average in
         and Oxley.                                                       2010. The wet conditions experienced in 2010/2011 replenished

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