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Water restrictions have operated in Melbourne since October 2002. The immediate reason for their introduction was that the water in storage was depleted by drought. However, the Victorian government has expressed concern that the combined effects of population increase and possible adverse effects of climate change on water supplies, along with the traditional problem of variable runoff into water storages, could mean Melbourne will be approaching its supply limits within fifteen years (Victorian Government 2004, p.94). The government has recently reviewed options for Melbourne’s water economy, in the context of an overall assessment of Victoria’s water future. The review included the preparation of green and white papers on water (Victorian Government 2003, 2004).


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