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Our water resources are essential to our prosperity and wellbeing

Water for Victoria

The Victorian Government is developing a new water plan, Water for Victoria, which will set the strategic direction for water management in Victoria for decades to come.

Our vision

Water is fundamental to our communities. We will manage water to support a healthy environment, a prosperous economy and thriving communities, now and into the future.

Our water systems will be resilient to drought and climate change, our communities will be at the centre of decision making and we will encourage innovation.

Key elements of the water plan

The Water for Victoria discussion paper recognises the importance of water to Victoria's economy and communities. The draft plan focuses on nine key elements:

  • Climate change
  • Waterway and catchment health
  • Water for agriculture
  • Recognising recreational values
  • Recognising and managing for Aboriginal values
  • Resilient and liveable cities and towns
  • Planning and entitlement frameworks
  • Realising the potential of Victoria's water grid and water markets
  • Jobs, economy and innovation

For more information click here

Catchment Management Authorities

Integrated catchment management is an important strategy in achieving sustainability.

In Victoria, integrated catchment management (ICM) underpins sustainable management of land and water resources and contributes to biodiversity management.

Victoria's integrated catchment management system is established under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (the CaLP Act).

Victoria is divided into 10 catchment regions, each with a catchment management authority (CMA).

Under the Water Act 1989, CMAs have management powers over regional waterways, floodplains, drainage and environmental water in their respective catchment area.

The ten CMAs are:


East Gippsland

Glenelg Hopkins

Goulburn Broken


North Central

North East

Port Phillip & Westernport

Wimmera West Gippsland

Floodplain Management

Managing floods involves three main types of activities - prevention (or mitigation), response and recovery.

Floodplain management aims to balance the competing objectives of managing floodplains for human needs such as food and energy production, transport and recreation, and flood mitigation, as well as for their environmental values.

The effects of climate change include more extreme weather events, such as more frequent and more intense downpours, which may result in flooding. To provide Victorians with coordinated information and improved knowledge about likely flood impacts the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has developed FloodZoom, which brings together flood forecasts, flood mapping, real time river height gauges and property data.

Councils, climate change and water

     Councils may face a variety of water-related issues exacerbated by climate change. For example:

  • Reduced rainfall in some areas of the state will make water an even more valuable resource to be used more wisely. Some councils are already having to make a choice between watering trees or sports grounds under their care.
  • Increased rainfall intensity increases the likelihood of stormwater drainage systems overflowing, leading to localised flooding and posing risks to safety and business.
  • Septic waste water systems failing to cope with increased rainfall intensity (flood events) would result in waterways and stormwater drains being contaminated by sewerage.
  • Flood events can also render dwellings and buildings unable to be occupied during and after a flood event. 

Councils have an important role to play in protecting our precious water resources. They can reduce water use from day-to-day operations through water efficiency improvements, use of recycled water, capturing and holding rainwater, and through drainage management plans to alleviate flood peaks and improve storage capacity. 

Councils can also work closely with their local communities and water corporations to improve household and business water efficiency, through education programs, partnerships and/or incentive programs for improved practices or efficiency upgrades.

Councils can also apply and promote the use of water sensitive urban design principles into planning and projects in their area. This approach ensures water sources are diversified and better integrated into urban spaces, for example through onsite water recycling, installation of rainwater tanks, passive irrigation of street trees, stormwater retention and the creation of green urban spaces.

How councils are becoming climate ready

To view state government funded climate change projects delivered in partnership with local councils, click here

Banyule City Council: stormwater harvesting

A snapshot of Banyule City Council's stormwater harvesting project and the benefits to the community.