On this page:

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:

  • flood-warning
  • 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
  • DEECA.

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