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The Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) Strategy is the strategic plan which guides and prioritises actions regarding Council’s management of the urban water supply, sewerage and stormwater systems. The IWCM Strategy has recently been revised and was adopted by Council in 2014. Click here (11.01mB PDF) to view the 2014 IWCM Strategy.


The Integrated Water Cycle Management Strategy Review

In 2006, Council adopted an Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) Strategy to help ensure safe and reliable water supplies without compromising the ecological function of the water catchment now and into the future. Since that time the Strategy has guided and prioritised relating to Council’s management of the urban water supply, sewerage and stormwater systems.

Minor revisions were completed in 2009 and 2011 to ensure the IWCM Strategy continued to address important water cycle issues and reflect the needs and aspirations of the Tweed community.

In 2012, Council engaged consultants Hydrosphere Consulting to conduct the six-yearly review of the IWCM Strategy. This review involved a careful analysis of:

  • Current and future water catchment, water supply, sewerage and storm water issues;
  • Community and stakeholder priorities for water cycle management now and in the future;
  • Best-practice management guidelines relating to water cycle management;
  • Water related programs and studies already undertaken under the 2006 IWCM Strategy, and their success; and
  • Water cycle requirements for the next 30 years.
The review of the IWCM Strategy highlights the need for Council to work towards defined targets for water cycle management, to build knowledge to inform future planning and to integrate development and delivery of water cycle programs and strategies.
Tweed River
The proposed management actions build upon the 2006 IWCM Strategy and relate to a range of areas, including:
  • Ongoing reduction of water use;
  • Climate change adaptation planning;
  • Increasing the use of treated wastewater;
  • Implementing a total water cycle management framework;
  • Improving regulation of on-site sewerage systems;
  • Improving environmental monitoring, evaluation and reporting;
  • Improving management of drinking water catchments;
  • Ongoing development and implementation of water sensitive urban design ;
  • Improving management of sewer overflows; and
  • A review of biosolids management approaches.

Community Consultation

Community consultation has been central to the development and subsequent reviews of the IWCM Strategy.

It has been critical in establishing stakeholder priorities for water cycle management and guiding the IWCM Strategy review. A comprehensive consultation program was rolled out from 2012 - 2014, which involved:
  • Public exhibition: Before being adopted, the community will have had three formal opportunities to provide feedback on the direction of the IWCM Strategy. Written submissions were encouraged on the consultants brief, the background paper and the Draft 2013 IWCM Strategy.
  • Telephone surveys: 600 random telephone surveys were conducted by an independent research agency, representing a statistically relevant sample size for the Tweed.
  • Paper-based surveys: Over 400 paper-based surveys were conducted.
  • Targeted engagement: Consultation and liaison with state government agencies and community groups, including the Aboriginal Advisory Committee.
  • Internal Consultation: An internal steering committee was established, drawing expertise from across Council, including Recreation Services, Natural Resource Management, Planning and Investment, Planning Reforms and Building and Environmental Health. Interviews were also conducted with the 16 members of the steering committee.
  • IWCM Strategy Information: Stakeholders have had access to IWCM-specific information through traditional and digital media.
  • Councillor Workshops.
  • Three community information sessions on the Draft Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) Strategy as part of the final exhibition phase. These sessions were held in Tweed Heads, Murwillumbah and Pottsville in February 2014.


Evolution of the IWCM Strategy

Since its inception in 2006, the IWCM strategy has been constantly evolving. Council has undertaken many of the actions prescribed in the IWCM strategy.

2006Council prepared and exhibited the first phase - An Integrated Water Cycle Management Context and Strategy Report
From this, a final list of 26 actions were developed
2009 Council reviewed progress towards the 26 actions and adopted a revised list of 18 actions
2011Council reviewed progress towards the 18 actions and adopted a revised list of 21 actions
2012Council engaged external consultants to conduct a comprehensive review of the IWCM strategy
2014 Council adopts the revised IWCM Strategy

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM)?
Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) refers to a holistic long-term management approach which incorporates water supply, wastewater (sewerage), stormwater and waterway health under a single management framework. 
Council's IWCM Strategy is used by Council to appropriately manage the entire water cycle and the Tweed catchment to ensure safe and reliable water supplies without compromising the ecological function of the water catchment.
What are the next steps in the IWCM Review?
The final public exhibition of the IWCM Strategy is now closed.  Feedback gathered is being reviewed by the consultants, and the strategy ammended where appropriate. The final strategy will be presented to Councillors for their adoption.
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