We believe climate change poses a great threat to our water supply, our environment and our way of life. That's why we're taking a proactive approach in our policies regarding climate change. We're reducing our environmental impact, adapting to the climate future and working toward a regional response.
Our Sustainability Strategy is an important part of our response to climate change. The report details our sustainability objectives and how we hope to achieve these goals.
Read our Sustainability Strategy for more details on how we're planning for climate change at GWMWater.
Reducing our environmental footprint
We're committed to reducing our environmental footprint and are working to minimise greenhouse gas emissions for our organisation. We've been working toward a reduced environmental footprint for a long time and have a number of programs in place to help us achieve this goal.
When approaching our emissions...
We use the EPA's Carbon management at work plan to assess each situation:
Can we avoid generating emissions?
Can we change our activities to reduce emissions?
Can we switch energy sources so they are less greenhouse-intensive?
So far we've managed to achieve zero emissions for our vehicle fleet, offices and depots.
- Our large vehicle fleet covers a lot a kilometres across a service area almost the size of Tasmania! To reduce fuel consumption we've focused on fuel-efficient driving, among other measures.
- GWMWater offices and depots are avoiding and reducing emissions by installing energy-saving measures such as solar panels and more efficient lighting, and turning things off when not in use.
- We have also purchased carbon offsets to achieve zero emissions. The purchase goes toward a reduction of 1 tonne in greenhouse gases.
Adapting to the future - a regional response
Our most significant adaptation project has been the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Project. This large-scale project replaced 17,500 km of inefficient open irrigation channels with 9,159 km of pipeline. This initiative has guaranteed a more secure water supply for rural and urban residents and delivered water to recreational lakes and the environment. The pipeline is a part of our strategy to adapt to a changing climate which will likely see increases in extreme conditions such as drought.
But there's still work to be done! Even now we're working toward long-term solutions with our Water Supply Demand Strategy. The Strategy will ensure that we're assessing long-term water supply and demand under a range of possible future climate scenarios. It considers a range of factors that influence customer demands as well as the impact of climate on available supply. Our planning and action in these areas is also linked with the Victorian Government's Western Region Sustainable Water Strategy. This strategy forecasts and plans for future drought and the uncertainty of climate change.
The Water Supply-Demand Strategy (WSDS) is a plan to assess long term water demands against supply inflows under a range of future climate scenarios.
The Western Region Sustainable Water Strategy maps out our region's water resources and the challenges and opportunities facing water users over the next 50 years.