Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) is the integrated management of urban water services including town water, wastewater and stormwater. This is achieved by considering these three resources in a holistic manner to solve associated issues. By developing an IWCM, Council seeks to provide appropriate, affordable, cost-effective and sustainable urban water services that meet community needs, protects public health and the environment and makes best use of regional resources. The completion of an IWCM is one requirement of the NSW Office of Water’s six best practice criteria for water utilities as outlined below;
- Strategic Business Planning
- Pricing and Developer Charges (including Liquid Trade Waste Approvals)
- Demand Management
- Drought Management
- Performance Monitoring
- Integrated Water Cycle Management.
The aim of the IWCM process is to help identify urban water management problems, to address these problems, to determine the appropriate management responses and to manage the impacts of the problems so that social, environmental and economic objectives are met.
IWCM involves a two step process that consists of an IWCM evaluation study followed by an IWCM strategy. The IWCM evaluation study involves the reviewing of existing information and data in relation to urban water supply, sewer services, stormwater and related catchment characteristics.
The evaluation study aims to list all the urban water service targets and identify all the issues relating to planning and service delivery for urban water supply, wastewater and stormwater over the next 30 years. Urban water service targets relate to legislation, licences, guidelines, levels of service and the like, which collectively define the key operating parameters and requirements that Council’s water and wastewater businesses must adhere to. These targets generally must be met due to health and/or environmental reasons or due to the obligation to meet agreed levels of service with the customers. IWCM also examines what issues can be addressed by existing or formally adopted actions and capital works that Council has in place.
If any issues identified by the IWCM evaluation study are not addressed by existing actions or formally adopted plans i.e. budgeted projects, the process moves to an IWCM strategy. This involves identifying the best options to address all issues, based on suitable technology, resourcing and community acceptance. Possible scenarios to address identified issues are compared and ranked on the basis of their environmental, social and economic impacts.
To ensure community involvement, a Project Reference Group (PRG) was established during the IWCM process. The PRG comprises key stakeholders including Community groups and Government agencies involved with urban water management.
Council adopted the final IWCM report at its meeting held 27 March 2012.