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Surface water monitoring informs and guides our decision-making when it comes to Victoria’s waterways and catchments.
By monitoring surface water, we can answer questions like:
- How much water is there?
- Where is the water?
- What is the water’s quality?
We measure water quantity and quality at over 900 locations in our rivers, lakes, estuaries, and storages.
Data is sent in near real-time to river operators, the Bureau of Meteorology and flood-warning systems. It is available to everyone via the Water Measurement Information System.
What data is collected?
The data collected can include:
- continuous river flow and water levels
- water quality such as salinity, oxygen, temperature, nutrients, turbidity,
- algae, contaminants, organic matter, solutes and metals
- rainfall, and weather parameters.
Groundwater quality and quantity are also collected in over 1,400 state observation bores.
Why is surface water data collected?
This data helps us with:
- understanding how much water is available and may be delivered for irrigation
- operating reservoirs to release water
- resource allocations (how much water is needed now and into the future)
- maintaining environmental water to support river life
- detecting algal blooms, blackwater, or fish deaths.
- assessing compliance or issuing rosters and water restrictions.
- waterway health management.
- accounting for water use.
The Victorian Water Act 1989 requires a coordinated and efficient approach toward data collection and water monitoring that can inform an ongoing assessment program.
The data is also used in modelling these surface water systems, for long-term resource assessment and planning.
Discover the ways we use surface water modelling.
Who collects the data?
Victoria’s Regional Water Monitoring Partnerships include about 54 organisations who co-invest in monitoring, including:
- Bureau of Meteorology
- Murray Darling Basin Authority
- water corporations
- catchment management authorities
- local government councils
- Victorian Fisheries Authority
We manage monitoring on behalf of these partners, so data is collected once to a high and consistent standard for use by many.
Page last updated: 08/09/23