Victoria's state-owned water sector is made up of 18 water corporations constituted under the Water Act 1989.
A number these water corporations also manage bulk water storages and designated recreational areas and help the minister operate the Victorian Water Register
Management of our water and sewerage services
Victoria's water corporation boards oversee the management of our water and sewerage services. The boards are responsible for managing each water corporation’s strategic planning and day to day affairs.
- A guide to governing in the water sector (PDF, 6.2 MB) is an overview of the governance and legislative framework that regulates the Victorian water industry.
- Water governance guide accessible version (DOCX, 268.8 KB)
- On Board – Governance guidance is a collection of useful information and resources to help directors who want to understand their role and responsibilities as a board member of a public entity
15 water corporations provide water supply (including recycled water) and sewage and trade waste disposal services to urban customers throughout Victoria.
In regional Victoria these are:
- Barwon Water
- Central Highlands Water
- Coliban Water
- East Gippsland Water
- Gippsland Water
- Goulburn Valley Water
- Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water
- Lower Murray Water
- North East Water
- South Gippsland Water
- Wannon Water
- Westernport Water
In Melbourne these are:
Four of the water corporations provide rural water services, which comprise water supply, drainage, and salinity mitigation services for irrigation and domestic and stock purposes.
Southern Rural Water, Goulburn-Murray Water and Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water also provide bulk water supply services to other water corporations in regional Victoria.
Melbourne Water Corporation provides bulk water and bulk sewerage services to water corporations in the Melbourne metropolitan area and manages rivers, creeks and major drainage systems in the Melbourne, Port Phillip and Westernport regions. It also supplies recycled water, through a number of retail water corporations, for irrigation and other purposes.
Under s. 4l of the Water Industry Act 1994, the Minister for Water may make and issue statements of obligations to water corporations.
These statements specify the obligations of Victoria's water corporations in relation to the performance of their functions and the exercise of their powers.
Statement of Obligations (General)
This statement sets out a broad range of obligations and guiding principles applicable to all water corporations. It revokes and replaces all previous statements of obligations made and issued to a water corporation under s. 4Iof the Water Industry Act 1994, with the exception of the Statement of Obligations (System Management) issued by the Minister for Water on 16 January 2015.
Statements of obligations (System Management)
This statement sets out roles and responsibilities in managing the augmented Melbourne water supply system. It applies to City West Water Corporation, Melbourne Water Corporation, South East Water Corporation and Yarra Valley Water Corporation.
Metropolitan retailers and Melbourne Water Corporation Statement of Obligations (System Management)
- Statement of Obligations (System Management) (PDF, 122.0 KB)
- Statement of Obligations (System Management)
(DOC, 78.5 KB)
Statements of obligations (Emission Reduction)
This statement sets out the obligations on all 19 water corporations in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.
The Victorian Government is establishing an advisory panel of experts to support Goulburn-Murray Water is ensuring a prosperous and productive irrigation district across Northern Victoria.
The advisory panel will report to the Minister for Water and the GMW Board and will provide options to ensure GMW is best placed to take advantage of the $2 billion Connections Project.
Download the Terms of Reference (PDF, 227.8 KB)
Through the Statement of Obligations, water corporations are required to develop Urban Water Strategies in accordance with the Urban Water Strategy Guidelines . These strategies include plans for securing water supplies over the following 50 years given uncertainty with population growth, climate change and climate variability.
The Annual Water Outlook for Victoria provides information about the state's water supplies, expected climatic conditions and contingency plans to cope with any supply shortages should they arise. Each year on 1 December water corporations publish an outlook report on the current condition of each water supply system, including storage positions and predicted future water availability, and outline strategies to meet customer demand over the next 12 months.
The Annual Water Outlook for Victoria brings this information together and provides a range of scenarios that can be expected if conditions remain dry. The highly variable nature of Victoria's climate, dry, drought and worst case scenario climate modelling is used to identify potential issues for water security.
Drought Preparedness Plans are prepared as part of an Urban Water Strategy and set out the actions that will be needed to prepare for and respond to water shortages if they arise in the immediate to short‐term.
A Drought Preparedness Plan describes how a water corporation will prepare for and manage its systems during:
- an extreme dry period; and / or
- a water quality event.
The Water Industry Regulatory Order 2014 (WIRO) is an order under the Water Industry Act 1994 which sets out the regulatory approach that the Essential Services Commission is required to adopt in assessing the prices, revenues and service standards proposed by the water corporations.
The Order was published in the Victorian Government Gazette on 23 October 2014. The relevant section of the Gazette is reproduced in the documents below:
Page last updated: 30/07/21