Victoria University (VU) and City West Water share a broad partnership that spans education and research, with a focus on benefits to the environment and community.

City West Water is one of three retail water businesses in Melbourne, and is the only organisation serving western metropolitan Melbourne.


City West Water and VU collaborate on a number of research projects in the areas of water treatment and sustainable water resource management.

Students and researchers from our College of Engineering and Science and our Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities also frequently work with City West Water to publish joint research papers and deliver conference presentations.

A sample of our research collaborations include investigation into:

  • desalination pre-treatment for recycled water
  • energy and cost-efficient membrane distillation of industrial waste water
  • the use of solar heat in water treatment
  • a computer based screening tool for locating and assessing storm water harvesting sites in urban Melbourne.

Water research at VU in collaboration with City West Water.


VU and City West Water partner on education initiatives at all levels of study, from TAFE diplomas, through to bachelor degrees, masters and PhD projects.

Student placements & projects

City West Water offers VU engineering students the opportunity to get hands-on in the water industry through work-integrated learning. The partnership also supports our Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering) and Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) students’ final year projects.

City West Water and VU students have collaborated on projects such as:

  • a masters research project into the combined use of recycled water and storm water via a third pipe system
  • a PhD project on potential storm water harvesting sites in urban areas.


From 2009 to 2016, VU and City West Water collaborated to offer a four-year cadetship program. The program was based on on-the-job competency training, with graduates being offered three qualifications and a full-time role with City West Water upon successful completion.

Qualifications included:

  • Certificate III in Business, delivered internally at City West Water
  • Diploma of Engineering Technology delivered through Victoria University Polytechnic, by VU and City West Water staff
  • Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology, which focuses on the core operations of the Australian water industry, delivered by subject matter experts at City West Water sites.

This program was the first accredited technical officer training to exist in the water industry since 1991. In 2009, the program was awarded the Minister’s Award for Excellence for its innovative offering.


Much of the research collaboration between VU and City West Water is focused on improving the quality and sustainability of water processes for Melbourne’s western urban region. It’s anticipated that research outcomes will contribute to healthier environments and resources for local communities in the future.

For example, our research into membrane distillation of industrial waste water aims to reduce costs and operational issues related to the treatment of highly polluted water generated by operations in Melbourne’s west. Applying this new treatment process will address several issues related to sustainability and climate change. The goal is to produce high quality recyclable water without the overuse of energy and resources.

Our work on the development of a geographic information system (GIS) computer tool for locating storm water harvesting sites in Melbourne will also assist in the quality and availability of water for local communities. Storm water is a valuable urban water resource that can be used to reduce pressure on fresh water sources. This research has already been successfully applied to a case study area in western Melbourne through collaboration with City West Water.

Representatives from VU have also sat on City West Water’s Community Liaison Committee and have been actively involved in developing several Environmental Sustainability Plans and collaborating on projects such as Greening the West.


To find out more about this partnership, please contact:

Shannon Ryan
Project coordinator
Engagement & Government Relations
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 3 9919 5511

Lovelesh Ramsahye
Industry & Community Engagement
College of Engineering & Science
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 3 9919 2175

Professor Stephen Gray
Executive Director
Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities 
Email: stephe[email protected]
Phone: +61 3 9919 8097