Case Study 1

Northern Region Sustainable Water Strategy

The Northern Region Sustainable Water Strategy pioneered a holistic approach to water resource management, with a suite of critical initiatives. Under my guidance, coordination of an 18-month stakeholder and community consultation process ensured a diverse range of perspectives, fostering inclusivity in decision-making.

Amid the Millennial drought, this strategy cemented pivotal water policies that now form the foundation of northern Victoria’s water resource management framework. These policies encompass environmental water recovery targets, carryover arrangements, and nuanced adjustments to the Goulburn and Murray rivers’ allocation policy. For the first time an approach to climate change impacts was taken that used observed impacts to further understand future scenarios.

Key to executing this strategy was the co-design of a deliberative consultation process focused on all values being identified, focus on publics impacted and on acknowledging where decisions had already been made. The process blends public engagement components with a leadership role for departmental executives and statutory governing bodies. This facilitated informed decision-making across diverse stakeholder groups.

A central innovation was the introduction of an adaptive evaluation mechanism, facilitating iterative refinement of consultation efforts based on pragmatic insights garnered during the process. The resulting adaptability ensures alignment with evolving needs and realities.

Magnificent hundreds of years old water-dependant River Red Gums – beneficiary of water recovery targets and other policies agreed to in the Northern Regional Sustainable Water Strategy.

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