Victoria water minister announces big reuse increase

Reuse of wastewater and stormwater are central to a whole-of-water-cycle strategy announced for the Australian state of Victoria on 1 July 2013 by water minister Peter Walsh.

“This strategy minimises the expensive use of pipes and pumps to move water long distances across Melbourne and reduces the need for expensive new dams or desalination plants by capturing and using water locally,” Walsh said, blaming the Wonthaggi Desalination Plant – built by the previous administration – for recent steep increases in water prices.

Scientific and economic analysis shows that increasing the use of rainwater, stormwater and wastewater for non-drinking purposes could save Victoria up to Aus$ 7 billion (US$ 6.4 billion) by 2050, said Walsh.

The Office of Living Victoria is developing the Melbourne’s Water Future strategy in collaboration with Melbourne water authorities, government agencies, developers, local governments and the community.