supporting documents

Developing an IWCM plan gave us an opportunity to stand back and think about how the town relates to water and how the Colac community can better relate to the water cycle

Colac Integrated Water Cycle Management Plan

Colac-Otway Shire Council

Share this Case Study

Project Overview

As part of the Colac 2050 visioning process, Barwon Water worked with the Colac Otway Shire and Corangamite CMA to identify potential opportunities where an integrated water cycle management approach could enhance the liveability characteristics of the city. The process allowed key agencies to collaboratively identify and discuss opportunities for the water cycle to make a positive contribution to Colac’s aspirations for liveability, sustainability and productivity. The IWCM Plan put the water cycle ‘on the table’ in the development of the Colac 2050 plan, which sets out a long term blueprint for the City as the states Botanic Garden City. Water will be central to this vision, through urban creeks as blue-green corridors, water sensitive urban development in floodplain areas and extensive greening of city streetscapes.

Key messages

  • The Barwon IWCM Network has developed a process for applying Integrated Water Cycle Management to help inform municipal strategic planning processes.
  • Integrated Water Management provided a useful lens for a whole-of-city visioning process being undertaken for Colac.
  • Barwon Water led a process to identify practical IWM opportunities that could contribute to the community vision for Colac as a Botanic Garden City by 2050.
  • The IWM approach identified six priority opportunities, including overcoming flood constraints in new development areas, linear green pathways, urban stormwater reuse and a green spine.


Colac Otway Shire, Barwon Water, Southern Rural Water, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, State Government of Victoria.

Project Cost

$50,000 in kind support from Barwon Water as IWCM Plan facilitator

$30,000 in kind support from Colac Otway Shire Council, Southern Rural Water and Corangamite CMA

$30,000 grant from the Living Victoria Fund


The IWCM Plan was prepared in 6 months.