Victoria has led the way in Australia on a cooperative approach to managing our land and water resources. Victoria’s integrated catchment management framework prescribes how the government, CMAs, Melbourne Water (for the Port Phillip and Westernport Region) and other regional partners work together with the community to manage our water, land and biodiversity on a catchment-wide basis.

Catchments cover the entire area of land where rain and water runs through and then flows into a creek, river, lake, wetland, dam or the ocean. Integrated catchment management recognises that land, water and biodiversity are all part of a connected environment that spans from the top of a catchment down to the coast and related marine environments.

Victoria’s integrated catchment management framework focuses on cooperation and coordination between individuals and organisations, so that local issues can be identified and as far as possible dealt with by people living in the catchment.

Under Water for Victoria, this framework was strengthened when the Victorian Government introduced the Our Catchments, Our Communities Strategy (2016-2019), which has continued with the strategic directions statement, Our Catchments, Our Communities: Building on the Legacy for Better Stewardship (PDF, 3.3 MB) (Accessible version (DOCX, 81.3 KB)) released in 2021.

This statement focuses on coordinated regional strategy, planning to care for catchments, and builds on the foundations of our current integrated catchment management approach. It supports how we manage our natural resources by ensuring catchment management partners work together and complements Victoria's directions for water, biodiversity, land and climate change.

Victoria’s legacy of strong integrated catchment management is because of the many people and organisations that have been involved in managing our catchments since 1997 and will continue to do so in the future. It is the role of CMAs and Melbourne Water to ensure these activities are strategic and coordinated so the best outcomes can be delivered with the resources we all share. On the 25th Anniversary of CMAs in Victoria we thank everyone involved for their contributions large and small.

There are many ways the community can get involved in catchment management. Contact your local CMA to find out how you can take part.

Page last updated: 22/02/23