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The second My Victorian Waterway Survey 2022 looked at the community’s connection to our waterways.

This survey built upon previous data looking at how Victorians use waterways, as well as their values and aspirations for waterway management.

The objectives for the 2022 survey were similar to the previous research with some adjustments to reflect new research priorities.

The study's purpose

The purpose of this study was to:

  • Better understand community uses, expectations and attitudes towards waterways.
  • Inform the design of a new Victorian Waterway Management Strategy by understanding community aspirations and concerns in relation to waterway management, including the development of a new community vision for Victoria’s waterways.
  • Support future government investment decisions by understanding how waterways are used, and why users value them.
  • Identify how the water sector can improve future communications and community engagement by better understanding current levels of knowledge about what makes a waterway healthy.

Key findings

How Victorians use waterways

69% of respondents said they visit a waterway at least once a month. People most frequently said they were seeking relaxation or peace.

The type of waterways people like to visit

Rivers, creeks, streams and lakes are the most commonly visited waterways. This is due largely to residential proximity.

Ways to improve waterways

The top priority for most respondents was investment in:

  • toilets
  • walking tracks
  • visitor facilities.

The 2 most common issues impacting waterway use according to respondents were water pollution and a lack of essential amenities.

How the community cares and contributes to waterway health

The survey findings reveal that most people care about the health of our waterways (82%). Respondents felt they had a personal responsibility to do the right thing to care and protect the waterways (74%).

What do Victorians know about waterway health

Overall, the people answered they have at least a general understanding about waterway health. Only one out of 5 described their knowledge as low.

The perceived challenges for Victoria’s waterways

The priority area for waterway managers and the community is managing:

  • pollution
  • rubbish
  • litter.

The factors we should focus on for waterway health

The top priorities for respondents were:

  • addressing pollution
  • maintaining natural flows and water resources
  • protecting habitat.

The community’s vision for the future of our waterways

Almost all respondents centralise environmental factors in their vision of a healthy, well-managed waterway, with a focus on clean water.

How having healthy, thriving waterways benefits the community

Respondents felt it was important to keep our waterways healthy because it helps:

  • facilitate social, cultural and environmental connections
  • improve everyone’s quality of life
  • provide for future generations.

You can read the My Victorian Waterway Survey 2022 findings if you would like to learn more about what Victorians think about our waterways.

My Victorian Waterway Survey 2022

Page last updated: 08/09/23