About a third of stream flow is extracted for irrigation, domestic use, industry and other urban purposes.
This reliance on extracted water has taken its toll on the health of Victoria's rivers and groundwater, and this, together with drought, has created many challenges for the state’s water managers.
Scientists today understand that the way in which water flows in a river system is vital to maintaining its physical, chemical and biological health – and, therefore, the communities that rely on it.
Victoria is expanding the water it sources from non rainfall-reliant supplies by pursuing innovative water sources such as desalination and recycling as well as stormwater and grey water use.
However, we still need to balance water use from natural waterways in ways that acknowledge the ongoing need for healthy rivers, floodplains, estuaries and groundwater systems.
Victoria is leading Australia in the policy and practice of providing flows to meet the needs of river health. These environmental flows are recognised as a legitimate and essential part of the state’s water allocation framework.
Environmental Watering bookletBooklet 2007/08: Environmental Watering in Victoria (PDF~2.7MB)
In this section
- Importance of Environmental Flows
- Annual River Flow Patterns
- Environmental Water Reserve
- Environmental Impact of Dams, Weirs & Pumping
- Environmental Flow Assessment
- Managing Environmental Flows in Drought
- Unregulated Rivers
- Streamflow Management Plans
- Environmental Flow Studies
- Frequently Asked Questions - Environmental Watering