Victoria’s waterways – including rivers, wetlands, lakes and water storages – provide many recreational opportunities and benefits for the community. Water-based recreational activities include fishing, water skiing, rowing, camping, walking, bird watching, outdoor sporting events and social gatherings. These social and recreational uses and values of waterways provide many benefits, such as improved health and wellbeing, increased social cohesion, as well as boosting tourism across regional Victoria.

The Recreational Values Program was created to implement the Victorian Government’s commitment to enhance the recreational values of water. This commitment is articulated in the Government’s long-term government plan for managing Victoria’s water resources, Water for Victoria (2016). Specifically, Chapter 7 articulates three actions to help the Victorian community achieve tangible recreational benefits:

  • Action 7.1 – Include recreational values in water and waterway planning
  • Action 7.2 – Help communities understand how to achieve their recreational objectives
  • Action 7.3 – Support recreation at water storages through infrastructure and better information

View Water for Victoria (PDF, 27.0MB)

View Water for Victoria (accessible version) (DOCX 15,1MB)

Recognising Recreational Values Progress Report 2016-2020

The Recognising Recreational Values Progress Report 2016-2020 highlights the achievements and progress of this program over this period. This progress includes a range of projects to improve and increase recreational access to waterways across the State, such as the construction of a floating pontoon for launching and fishing on the Maribyrnong River, and the rejuvenation of Green Lake at Sea Lake.

View the Recognising Recreational Values Progress Report 2016-2020 (PDF, 8.5 MB)

View the Recognising Recreational Values Progress Report 2016-2020 (accessible version) (DOCX, 49.5 KB)

Useful contacts

If you are interested in finding out the current water level at a particular water storage on your mobile device, download the Bureau of Meteorology’s iPhone app which reports water information for more than 250 water reservoirs across Australia.

Storage levels can also be found on the Bureau of Meteorology water storage webpage

There are many different government departments and agencies that are involved in making decisions about water.

Water storages

If you would like to know who to contact regarding recreation at a Water Storage in regional or rural Victoria, the relevant rural water corporation may be able to help.

Waterways and wetlands

If you have a question about recreation at a waterway or wetland, the relevant Catchment Management Authority may be able to help.

To find out which rural water corporation or Catchment Management Authority to contact, use the water in your region map.

The following agencies and government departments all play a role in supporting and promoting the recreational values of Victoria’s waterways and water reservoirs, and may be able to assist.

Local Government Authorities
Regional Development Victoria
Tourism Victoria
Parks Victoria
Fisheries Victoria
Game Management Authority

Page last updated: 14/09/22