Sunbury's projected population growth, paired with a changing climate, poses challenges to how water will be managed in the future in Sunbury and the surrounding area.

Melbourne Water and Greater Western Water, with support from Hume City Council, are working together to create an Integrated Water Management (IWM) plan for Sunbury and the surrounding area.

Our aim is to safeguard and support Sunbury’s future water resources by making the most of all available water resources - including recycled water and stormwater - and minimising environmental impacts.

Since 2018, we've been working with the Sunbury community to develop the Integrated Water Management Plan. Engagement has occurred over three phases, with Phase 3 testing the community panel's recommendations with the broader community. Scroll down to read what we heard from the previous engagement and community social research programs.

The findings from the previous three phases of engagement and community research will help shape Sunbury’s Water Future. Engagement and research will continue until 2024 when the plan is due to be delivered.

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Types of water - what's the difference?

Our water cycle is complex but knowing terms will help you better explore Sunbury's Water Future
  • What is stormwater?

    Rainfall that runs off roofs, roads and other hard surfaces into gutters, drains, creeks and rivers, and eventually into the sea is called ‘stormwater’.

    In new growth areas, wetlands and basins are constructed to help filter stormwater.

  • What is wastewater?

    Water that’s been used in the home, in a business or an industrial process is called ‘wastewater’. It’s captured in different pipes to stormwater.

    For the Sunbury region, wastewater is transported to the Sunbury Recycled Water Plant.

  • What is recycled water?

    When wastewater goes through a treatment process, it becomes ‘recycled water’ that can be reused for other purposes.

    Recycled water can have different levels of treatment depending on what it is to be reused for. Recycled water is also released to waterways.

Frequently Asked Questions

Over the next 20 years, the population of Sunbury is expected to more than double in size, significantly impacting on Sunbury’s water supplies, wastewater management and local waterways like Jacksons and Emu Creeks.

The Sunbury region is largely reliant on drinking water supplies from outside the region. With limited harvest from local water catchments, reduced rainfall and its growing population, interventions are required to limit cost and environmental impacts and secure water supply for Sunbury into the future.

Greater Western Water and Melbourne Water are working together to develop and deliver this plan. Melbourne Water and Greater Western Water manage different aspects of the urban water cycle.

Melbourne Water is the supplier of bulk water and sewerage services to Greater Western Water, which then provides direct water, sewerage and recycled water services to Sunbury and surrounding towns. GWW’s full service region extends from the Melbourne CBD to Bacchus Marsh in the west and Lancefield in the north.

Locally, Melbourne Water is also responsible for managing waterways, Jacksons Creek and Emu Creek, and providing drainage and flood management services for the area.

The project is being delivered in close consultation with key partners, including Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Hume City Council.

Integrated Water Management (IWM) is a collaborative approach to the way we plan and manage all elements of the water cycle .

This includes making use of alternative water sources – like recycled water and stormwater – to reduce pressure on our drinking water supplies while protecting the health of our waterways. It brings together the many stakeholders involved in the water cycle.

This innovative approach allows us to integrate the water cycle with other aspects of urban management, such as land use planning and urban design, when undertaking planning and decision making. The IWM process also considers the environmental, economic and social impacts and benefits of different water management options. Using an IWM approach allows us to look at how the wider opportunities enabled by solutions such as alternative water can benefit communities like Sunbury.

Sunbury is typically supplied with water from the Melbourne supply system. This system consists of a number of reservoirs across the state as well as water from the Victorian desalination plant. Currently no alternative sources of water are used to meet Sunbury’s water demands.