Celebrating National Water Week 16-22 October 2023
This week we celebrate #NationalWaterWeek, where individuals, communities, schools, and organisations are inspired to promote the importance of water and the ways in which we are all #UnitedByWater.
In celebration of National Water Week, Lauren Mittiga, Senior Manager, One Water at Melbourne Water, is being recognised for her outstanding contributions to uniting communities and organisations in the management of sustainable water resources.
Lauren grew up in Adelaide, the driest state in the driest continent, relying heavily on the Murray River as its primary source of water. As a result, she developed a deep passion for sustainable water management, having witnessed firsthand both the challenges associated with water scarcity as well as its impact on the environment.
At Melbourne Water, Lauren is involved in developing innovative strategies to ensure the sustainable use of water resources across greater Melbourne in collaboration with water retailers and the state government.
One of the key focus areas for Lauren is working on the Werribee River system, located in Melbourne’s West - a highly valued natural asset to Melbourne’s community, supplying water to various sectors, including agriculture, industry, and urban areas. Over the years, the river has experienced a decline in its natural flows, leading to ecological imbalances and negatively impacting its overall health.
Recognising the significance of the Werribee River and the need to restore its flows, Lauren and her team is undertaking the Werribee System Reconfiguration Project (WSRP) in partnership with the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, Southern Rural Water and Greater Western Water (and other community groups as the project progresses), with an integrated water management approach at its core.
To optimise the use of water resources while preserving the health and integrity of the Werribee River Catchment, this approach acknowledges the interconnectedness of water resources, ecosystems, and Traditional Owner values.
The goal of our project is to create a thriving ecosystem that benefits both nature and the community by restoring the natural flow of the Werribee River.
“We aim to transform the way water is used and shared by implementing integrated water management strategies, including the increased use of recycled water and storm water, providing cost-effective water supplies for urban use and securing reliable, high-quality water for agriculture, while respecting and involving Traditional Owners,” said Lauren.
It is essential that we are united in our approach as we all have a different, but equally critical, role to play in managing the health of the Werribee Catchment and supporting the vital role it plays in urban, irrigation, environmental, Traditional Owner and agricultural uses.
“This project aims to create a more sustainable and inclusive future for the entire Werribee River Catchment and the surrounding communities by valuing the knowledge and expertise of others,” added Ms. Mittiga.
The Werribee System Reconfiguration Project (WSRP) stands as a testament to the commitment of Lauren and her team to environmental stewardship and sustainable water management, uniting all involved to the health of the river. Through their combined efforts, the Werribee River will regain its vitality, supporting biodiversity and ensuring its preservation for future generations.
To find out more about how you can get involved in our projects – uniting for water visit: Your Say – Melbourne Water.