RMCG has collaborated with Melbourne Water to implement the Stringybark Catchment Water Quality Tender from 2014 to 2015. The primary objective of the tender was to improve water quality by reducing diffuse source nitrogen (TN), phosphorus (TP) and sediment (TSS) loads from rural properties in the Stringybark Creek catchment through a tender process.
In addition to these waterway and stormwater management strategic goals, the secondary objectives of this project are to:
- Test an alternative approach to allocation of grant funding to rural landholders for water quality outcomes
- Increase the level of knowledge and understanding among Melbourne Water staff on alternative models for allocating grants
- Present the advantages and disadvantages of the tender-based approach in relation to the RLP
- Identify the circumstances where tender approaches would be suitable for waterway and rural land management
- Provide evaluation principles to assist with the design and review of the pilot MBI
- Test whether combining multiple Melbourne Water incentive programs improves the customer service focus (i.e. RLP and SFMP). The tender can also act as a referral service for two other incentives programs, namely the Mitigating Catchment Impacts Program (MCIP) and Riparian Management Program (minor capital for works less than $15K).
RMCG provided technical, management and implementation advice throughout all stages of the tender. This project was also short-listed for a national industry award by the River Basin Management Society, which you can read more about here. A paper was also presented at the 8th Australian Stream Management Conference.