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Stormwater is the rain that runs off hard surfaces and goes into our drainage systems. Stormwater collects pollutants as it travels over roofs, roads, pavements and other surfaces. These pollutants include litter, chemicals, sediments, petrol and oils, and heavy metals.

The pollutants and litter that stormwater picks up also goes into our rivers and creeks. This will all flows into the ocean and effects the cleanliness and health of our environment.

  • Unlike sewage, stormwater is not treated. It spreads the pollution it picks up and causes issues like algae blooms, fish and animal deaths, sediment build-ups, litter and erosion.

    Cities also create more stormwater than natural environments. They increase the number of hard surfaces in an area that do not absorb water, such as roofs, driveways and roads. This increases the amount of stormwater that erodes and pollutes our waterways. This then also changes habitats and can affect local species of plants and animals.

Our plan to become a water sensitive city

In August 2020, we put in place our Integrated Water Management (IWM) 2040 Strategy and a five-year action plan.

Our strategy includes 5 key outcomes:

  • Collaborating in a water sensitive city
  • Resilient and livable landscapes
  • Wise water use
  • Healthy waterways
  • Community embracing water sensitive urban design

These outcomes each have indicators and measures relating to pollution reduction, flow, urban greening, trees, urban heat, Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) assets and education, open space and water usage.

Full documents:

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD)

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is an approach to planning and designing urban areas to make use of stormwater and reduce the harm it causes to our rivers and creeks. WSUD does this by using urban planning and design to reuse stormwater, stopping it from reaching our waterways by mimicking the natural water cycle as closely as possible.

We have put in place many WSUD assets across Moreland including as raingardens, tree pits, sediment ponds, wetlands, swales, and rainwater tanks.

To meet our Intergrated Water Management (IWM) 2040 Strategy and our five-year action plan goals, we are working on a number of WSUD infrastructure projects. You can see our latest projects on Conversations Moreland. You can also find out about completed WSUD projects on our Completed Council projects page.

We have been also working with Melbourne University to investigate passive irrigation. We want to find out whether this will improve street tree health and reduce stormwater pollution.

Saving water at home

There are permanent water-saving rules in place that we all must follow. You can find out more about the current water rules on the Melbourne Water website.

There are many reasons everyone should be saving water at home. This includes lower water bills, living more sustainably, and protecting our water supply.

Melbourne Water recommends keeping your water use to 155L per person, per day. To work out your individual water use, look at your latest water bill. You can divide your total household water use by the number of people living in your home to see how much water you use.

Water saving tips

Tips to save water inside your home:

  • Reduce your shower time to 4 minutes. This can save thousands of litres of water per person, per year.
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or shaving. You can even use a glass of water to rinse your mouth rather than a running tap.
  • Buy water efficient appliances and fittings. You can do this by checking the water rating labels on appliances. The more stars a label has the better the water efficiency.

Tips to save water in your garden:

  • Put plants in your garden that need similar water levels close together. This makes it easy to check their water levels and to avoid over-watering.
  • Set up a windbreak using a lattice screen, hedge or fence near your garden bed. This will protect delicate plants and stop the wind from drying out your soil.
  • Choose to plant indigenous and low water plants. You can find more about working with these types of plants on our gardening and food production page.
  • Use mulch in your garden beds. A layer of mulch can reduce water evaporation and erosion and keep your soil at a good temperature. It also discourages weeds.
  • Install a rainwater tank. If you use the trapped water around your home, you can lower your water bill. This also reduces the amount of rainwater in the stormwater system. You can find out if you need a planning permit to install a rainwater tank by speaking to a planning officer.

    You can do this by visiting the Planning Desk at our Coburg office, or by calling us on 9240 1111.

  • Install a raingarden. These are gardens get rainwater from being under or near downpipes, paved areas or roads. These gardens reduce the amount of stormwater in our stormwater system.