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Victorian water catchment regions

In Victoria, there are 10 catchment management regions.

Each region has a catchment management authority to coordinate integrated management of land, water and biodiversity. In the Port Phillip and Westernport region, Melbourne Water has the waterway and catchment management responsibilities.

Catchment management authorities and Melbourne Water have specific responsibilities for waterway management under the Water Act 1989. Collectively, they are known as the waterway managers.

A map of Victoria showing the ten water catchment regions for the state.
Map of Victoria showing the 10 water catchment regions for the state

Role of waterway managers

Waterway managers have the lead role in developing and delivering regional programs for waterway management. The range of functions they undertake includes:

  • Developing a regional waterway strategy and associated action plans.
  • Developing and implementing work programs.
  • Authorising works on waterways, acting as a referral body for planning applications, licences to take and use water and construct dams for water use and other waterway health issues.
  • Identifying regional priorities for environmental water management and facilitating delivery of environmental water.
  • Providing input to water allocation processes.
  • Developing and coordinating regional floodplain management plans.
  • Managing regional drainage in specified areas.
  • Undertaking community participation and awareness programs.

Regional waterway strategies

The regional waterway strategies are a single planning document for each region's river, estuary and wetland management. They drive the implementation of the management approach outlined in the Victorian Waterway Management Strategy.

The current regional strategies were developed in 2014 by waterway managers. They did this in partnership with other regional agencies, authorities and boards involved in natural resource management, plus Traditional Owners, regional communities and other key stakeholders.

Melbourne Water’s current strategy, the Healthy Waterways Strategy, was released in 2018.

For coastal regions, the strategies include the management of estuary health, highlighting the importance of estuaries as the link between catchments, coasts and the marine environment.

The strategies outline regional goals for waterway management

High-value waterways are identified and from those, a subset of priority waterways are determined for the 8-year planning period.

A strategic regional works program of management activities for priority waterways is included. The regional works program provides clear direction to guide investment in waterway management by the Victorian Government.

The strategies also identify regional priorities for environmental water management over the 8-year planning period and the complementary management activities required at those sites.

This information is used as a key input to environmental water planning arrangements.

The Aquatic Value Identification and Risk Assessment database

The regional priority-setting process relies on information about values, threats and risks.

It is vital that this information is collected and described consistently and, where possible, that the information is based on actual data, for example, data collected from on-ground monitoring activities.

The Aquatic Value Identification and Risk Assessment (AVIRA) database has been developed to house this information and support the regional priority-setting process.

AVIRA contains information about the values and threats associated with selected river, estuary and wetland assets.

Page last updated: 08/09/23