Hepburn Shire Council and Central Highlands Water have progressed work on the Integrated Water Management (IWM) plan for Daylesford & Hepburn Springs, Creswick and Clunes. The document (in the document library) contains a summary of work to date, what is within and beyond the scope of the project, 9 shortlisted opportunities (page 13) and a long list of 22 opportunities (Attachment A). These have been developed based on investigations and consultation, including here.


Central Highlands Water and the Hepburn Shire Council (the Council) are working together to prepare an integrated water management (IWM) plan for Daylesford & Hepburn Springs, Creswick and Clunes. We are working closely with North Central Catchment Management Authority, Goulburn Murray Water and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

The IWM plan will identify water cycle issues and opportunities across each township with the aim of improving the health and resilience of our environment and community. By making best use of our urban water resources, such as recycled water, stormwater and rainwater, we can keep our open spaces green in summer, improve the health of our waterways and reduce the pressure on conventional urban town water supplies.

We would like to hear from the community to understand what water related issues and opportunities you have observed or experienced in your town should considered through this plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an IWM Plan? An IWM plan identifies opportunities to improve water management for the benefit of your town and community, across potable drinking water, sewerage and recycled water, stormwater, groundwater, waterways and landscapes can. In the past, opportunities that were not the responsibility of any one agency (e.g. stormwater or rainwater harvesting) may have been missed. The IWM plan captures these. A good IWM plan encourages collaboration between Government agencies and will respond to the unique communities and landscapes within each town.

What will the IWM Plan achieve? The aim of an IWM plan is to identify a range of opportunities across each town that Water agencies can deliver collaboratively. The IWM plan will identify the issues and opportunities in each town and the community’s input is critical at this stage. The project team will then assess the merits of those opportunities and prepare a ‘short list’ of high priority projects. From this short list, a select number will progress to ‘concept design’ stage, so that we understand how it will work and what it may cost. The aim then is for agencies to incorporate funding for high priority projects into their future capital investment plans.

What is the focus of this plan? The IWM plan typically focuses on topics and outcomes that require the support and collaboration of multiple stakeholders rather than areas usually managed entirely by one agency through well-established processes. For example, the plan will not focus on potable water infrastructure design and planning. It may however look at how recycled water can be used to reduce the pressure on the potable water network.

What is the timeline for this plan? This plan needs to be completed by December 2021. We will be seeking the community’s input during August.

Will you be undertaking any other community engagement activities? Yes. As well as seeking feedback through Participate Hepburn, there will be evening information sessions in each town during August. Details of dates and times will be included here when confirmed.

Does this plan cover the whole Shire? No. This plan focusses on ‘urban’ water issues within the townships of Daylesford & Hepburn Springs, Creswick and Clunes. The urban water cycle refers to issues and opportunities that are linked or related to townships. For example, each towns use of potable water, reusing treated wastewater generated in towns, the condition of urban waterways and how water can be used to improve urban landscapes (e.g. greening sportsfields and streets).

Why is it just Daylesford & Hepburn Springs, Creswick and Clunes? What about towns like Trentham? The towns of Daylesford & Hepburn Springs, Creswick and Clunes have been chosen as they are the Shire’s major townships that lie within Central Highlands Water’s service region. Towns that are outside of this area, like Trentham and Glenlyon, will be the subject of projects undertaken by Coliban Water.

When we talk about the ‘water cycle’ what do you mean, and who manages each part? The table below summarises the organisations that are a party to this plan and their responsibilities.

IWMP Table