Stormwater Victoria is demonstrating leadership and collaboration across Melbourne to meet stormwater outcomes

Stormwater Victoria supports the stormwater targets of the Healthy Waterways Strategy and provides leadership to the sector to implement integrated water management options to achieve protections for waterways and the development of pleasant open spaces for the community.

Stormwater Victoria supports the Healthy Waterways Strategy targets
Stormwater Victoria is the industry peak body promoting improved stormwater management and capacity building to protect waterways. Credit: Jamie Tainton

Urban growth impacts waterways

A rapidly growing population will lead to increased urban development and stormwater runoff in our catchments in the future unless improved stormwater management is in place. Greater volumes of stormwater are generated when hard surfaces associated with development increase in the catchment and connect to conventional drainage. Stormwater contains significant pollutant loads, such as nutrients, sediments,  litter, plastics, and oils. Managing these stormwater flows now and in the future is critical to preserve our environment, maintain water quality, and ensure adequate water supply for our population. 

To be effective, the Healthy Waterways Strategy requires collaboration across multiple sectors to achieve integrated water management outcomes. Stormwater Victoria’s focus is to bring together information that encourages a collaborative approach to effectively protect our waterways, design integrated solutions, and mitigate flooding.  This is achieved through training and case study-based approaches, as well as a strong element of leadership and advocacy. Support is provided to industry partners including the development community, to enable effective collaboration and knowledge sharing for healthy waterways and the communities that living amongst them. 

Stormwater Victoria supports the strategy targets and improved integrated water management

Stormwater Victoria is the peak body that represents the interests of a range of a diverse field of professionals focussed on stormwater quantity, environmental quality and integrated water management across Victoria. It encourages collaboration and interaction between multiple disciplines engaged in the industry, and promotes improved stormwater management, industry best practice and capacity building to protect our waterways and downstream environment. 

President of Stormwater Victoria, Jamie Tainton, believes that the association is aligned and highly supportive of the expectations of the Healthy Waterways Strategy’s stormwater outcomes.  They look to utilise the aims and ambitions of the strategy to help raise awareness and motivate partners to construct projects like stormwater harvesting, broad scale infiltration projects, and generally offset the impact of development on the receiving environment.  Communicating this broadly, is vital to its uptake and success and the Covid-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity to pivot engagement approaches. 

“We have seen our level of reach and engagement dramatically increase over this period. More members than ever before are now able to attend our industry events now that they are held online. Our recent Healthy Waterways Strategy webinar had the highest registration and interest level at the time”

- Jamie Tainton 

Stormwater Victoria President - Jamie Tainton
Stormwater Victoria President Jamie Tainton

These events have allowed for important discussions between water authorities, communities, and a range of organisations to meet stormwater outcomes and offset impervious areas especially in priority catchments. 

“It is essential for our industry to understand the Healthy Waterways Strategy targets and the importance of integrated water management solutions. We want to help developers, councils, communities, water authorities, planners and designers understand the bigger picture and realise the difference that stormwater assets can have on people’s lives, Jamie added. 

These conversations have the ability to encourage buy-in from multiple stakeholders and drive future development that focuses on liveability and positive environmental and social outcomes. 

“Now more than ever, local parks have become an important respite area for individuals, children and families. People need to be able to live somewhere they can go for a nice walk and appreciate the birds and the frogs in the assets we put there. They need a sense of place and the integrated assets developed collaboratively as part of the Healthy Water Ways Strategy can provide that”, Jamie added.

Stormwater Victoria future initiatives

Stormwater Victoria is currently working on a range of initiatives including the development of drainage guidelines that tie in with healthy waterway strategy outcomes, working collaboratively with councils on promoting contribution schemes that allow developers to meet water quality expectations, and further stormwater seminars that focus on issues of relevance to the industry.