Environmental water planningManaging and delivering environmental water requires careful planning.
Every year, the key function of the VEWH is to create a seasonal watering plan that prioritises the watering activities of the entire State in an integrated way. The plan sets the scope for environmental watering activities that could occur under a range of climatic scenarios - from severe drought, right through to an extremely wet year.
The seasonal watering plan considers the most appropriate use of environmental water entitlements held by the VEWH, as well other environmental water entitlements available for use in Victoria, such as the Living Murray entitlements and those held by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder.
In developing the seasonal watering plan, the VEWH considers seasonal watering proposals put forward by catchment management authorities and Melbourne Water.
The seasonal watering proposals identify the desired environmental water use for each system under a range of inflow scenarios. The proposals provide a clear rationale to directly inform the VEWH priorities outlined in the seasonal watering plan.
The seasonal watering proposals are informed by relevant regional river health strategies, developed in consultation with the community and other partners. In addition, scientific studies into the timing, duration and frequency of environmental flows required for each system (known as environmental flow studies), provide the scientific basis for seasonal watering proposals.
As conditions unfold, and water becomes available throughout the year, the VEWH releases seasonal watering statements to communicate decisions on environmental watering activities that are actually to be undertaken. The statements are a record of the implementation of the seasonal watering plan, and can be made at any time throughout the year. Depending on the nature of the system and the entitlement being used, there may be one or multiple statements made for a particular system. In addition to communicating decisions on environmental watering activities, the seasonal watering statements also authorise a Catchment Management Authority or Melbourne Water to order and deliver water on behalf of the VEWH.
The planning process is outlined below or alternatively, view the accessible version of the planning process (DOC~402kb)