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Delivering water for the environment

Our Environmental Water team in the Department of Energy, Environment, and Climate Action (DEECA) is responsible for developing and managing policies, investments and programs to ensure that water for the environment is identified, protected and managed to support aquatic and riparian ecosystems and linked community values.

Within Victoria and across state borders, our water for the environment program is managed and delivered through partnerships with:

We manage investment in CMA and VEWH environmental water programs and coordinate state-scale environmental flow monitoring and assessment programs. These include the Victorian Environmental Flows Monitoring and Assessment Program and the Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program.

The delivery of environmental entitlements is reported by the VEWH.

Through these partnerships, hundreds of people are involved in planning, managing and delivering water for the environment across Victoria.


Under the Victorian Water Act 1989, the Minister for Water has the power to create and amend environmental water entitlements. DEECA supports the Minister for Water, including advising on governance oversight of water and catchment entities including the VEWH and CMAs.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority is an independent statutory agency responsible for planning the Murray Darling Basin’s water resources – which includes northern Victoria. All planning decisions are made in the interest of the Basin as a whole. They manage the waterways of the Murray Darling Basin together with:

  • the Basin states - Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia
  • the Commonwealth Government
  • related industries and communities.
Photo of group of people standing on a ledge overlooking a river.
Partnerships with CMAs and others are crucial to delivering water for the environment

Planning how we use water for the environment

Some water for the environment can be stored in dams or weirs. When released, this water improves the health of waterways and the plants and animals that depend on them. Careful planning and monitoring of ecological responses and how it provides the most benefit is required when releasing this water.

The VEWH is an independent statutory body responsible for holding and managing Victoria’s environmental water entitlements. Together with CMAs, they plan the delivery of water for the environment each year by developing seasonal watering plans.

Seasonal water plans

The annual seasonal watering plans use information from long-term Environmental Water Management Plans (EWMPs). These are developed by CMAs, working with partners and stakeholders, for priority rivers and wetlands identified in regional waterway strategies as needing water for the environment. EMWPs set out the long-term (such as more than 10 years) environmental watering goals, ecological objectives, and the water regime required to meet these.

Long-term watering plans

Long-term watering plans are also developed for regions using the information in asset-based EWMPs. These summarise ecological objectives for priority water assets in each region. We prepare them in accordance with obligations under the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

Page last updated: 08/09/23