Planning for sea level rise 

Sea level rise is projected to increase over the next 100 years as a result of climate change, worsening coastal inundation. This will increase the number of properties impacted and the depth of flooding.

Our 2017 Planning for Sea Level Rise Guidelines were previously used by us to assess development proposals in flood-prone areas (including coastal inundation), to keep people safe and minimise property damage. We are currently updating these guidelines and have removed them from our website while this takes place.

Advice on the Port Phillip Bay Coastal Hazard Assessment

 Melbourne Water acknowledges the release of the Port Phillip Bay Coastal hazard Assessment by DEECA. This assessment is based upon a hydrodynamic model, consistent with the modelling approach for the Western Port Coastal Hazard Assessment.  

The information is being reviewed by Melbourne Water’s Flood engineers.  Following review and formal acceptance, significant data processing and system changes are required to integrate this new information into existing data sets.

It is anticipated that this process will take until mid-year 2024.  Until the data processing and review is complete, Melbourne Water will continue to use its current data and mapping to inform development referrals and advice.

Note that the planning for sea level rise benchmark remains at 0.8m, as per Victoria’s Planning Provisions Clause 13.01-2s and Melbourne Water’s Interim Sea Level Rise Guidelines will continue to be used to assess development referrals.

Interim guidance

Please refer to:

You can still apply to us online for property flood level information.

Updating the guidelines

In the past, there were two planning horizons for state planning policy and our sea level rise guidelines: 2040 and 2100. In 2021, state planning policy was amended to remove the 2040 planning horizon. This was due to the long-term nature of land use planning decisions and the long life of buildings.

In response to this change, we will no longer be assessing development using the 2040 planning horizon. Our guidelines are being updated to reflect this change, and expected to be finalised in 2024.

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