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About the Water (Recreational Area) Regulations

We recently developed new Water (Recreational Area) Regulations 2023 (the regulations). The regulations replace the Model By-Law: Recreational Areas 2012.

The Regulations came into operation on 19 August 2023.

The Regulations help protect:

  • water quality
  • water corporation facilities
  • Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • environmental values.

The Regulations apply to Recreational Areas that are registered and managed by water corporations. These areas are Determined Recreational Areas under the Water Act 1989 and apply to 40 of Victoria’s water storages. (See the table below)

Water Corporations manage these storages to supply water for irrigation, and urban, rural and environmental use. The water storages also provide opportunities for recreation and tourism.

Many are high visitation sites with significant infrastructure for:

  • camping
  • boating
  • fishing
  • picnics and barbeques.

Some Recreational Areas are important sites of cultural heritage and are of significance to Traditional Owners. The Recreational Areas also perform environmental functions. The environmental functions include providing habitat for plant and animal species. These areas are also important sites for fire management and catchment protection.

Engagement on the draft regulations

For more information on the public consultation visit Engage Victoria's Draft Water (Recreational Area) Regulations at Water Storages.

We will continue to work with Water Corporations who manage Recreational Areas where these regulations apply to:

  • ensure consistent application of the Regulations
  • support the development of the Recreational Area management plans
  • and provide guidance on implementation and enforcement of the regulations.

If you would like to get further information about how the regulations apply at a specific recreational area, please contact the relevant water corporation in your area:

List of determined Recreational Areas

Alignment with review and renewal of the Houseboat Regulations

We are continuing work to review and remake the Water (Lake Eildon Recreational Area) (Houseboats) Regulations 2013. These regulations apply to the Lake Eildon Recreational Area.

Our work is largely focused on exploring effective and practical ways to improve greywater management on houseboats. However, opportunities to modernise and streamline other elements of the regulations are also being explored.

We are working closely to integrate any requirements for houseboats with other regulations and will work together on community consultation on all proposed draft regulations.

If you would like more information on the remaking of the Houseboat Regulations, visit Houseboating on Lake Eildon or email the project team at rural.water@deeca.vic.gov.au.

Page last updated: 19/10/23