Warrnambool | A City for Living


We will care for and regenerate our waterways, our coast and marine environment and support a natural water cycle. We will carefully use rainwater to contribute to the amenity of the city by bringing water management and green infrastructure together. Water conservation and water sensitive urban design, including improved stormwater systems, will improve our waterway and marine health. We will capture rainwater and reuse stormwater to reduce our reliance on depleting water sources.

2040 Outcome

  • Urban Water Sensitive Design principles are used in all infrastructure and open space developments and upgrades.
  • All new developments incorporate roof water harvesting infrastructure.
  • The Index of Stream Condition for the Hopkins River and Merri River is Excellent. Wetlands and riparian areas are graze free zones.
  • Warrnambool’s use of potable water is 20% less than 2019 levels.
  • The Merri River corridor is a connected series of parklands that support active transport, nature-based recreation and wildlife movement

The changes we want by 2026

  • Neighbourhood Level Green-Blue Pilot Project developed.
  • The Index of Stream Condition for the Hopkins River and Merri River is Good
  • No net increase in potable water consumption based on 2019 levels.
  • Connectivity between parklands on the Merri River has improved on 2018 levels
  • Woodend Road Reserve is being restored for environmental and recreation purposes
  • The significance of the Merri River as an open space corridor is recognised in the Planning Scheme and Council policies.

Short Term Initiatives

  • Always use water sensitive design principles in the construction projects and management of land.
  • Support neighbourhood-scale solutions for stormwater treatment and reuse.
  • Improve open space access and connectivity along the southern bank of the Merri River in west Warrnambool and along the Hopkins River in east Warrnambool.
  • In partnership, develop a framework for integrated water management which incorporates Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) into residential and commercial developments
  • Develop, promote and implement community education programs.
  • Partner to increase riverbank protection activities, reducing agricultural run-off and ensuring coordinated management and design of infrastructure and uses in the Hopkins and Merri catchments.