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Water Supply Catchment Protection

Declared Water Supply Catchments | Melbourne Metro | Other Legislation and Planning Controls

Catchment Protection occurs in a number of ways - land use controls; vegetation clearing controls; and catchment management activities such as tree planting, stream rehabilitation and soil conservation.

This page introduces the formal mechanisms for protecting catchments specifically for water supply purposes.

Declared Water Supply Catchments
(formerly known as Proclaimed Water Supply Catchments)

This page maps Declared Water Supply Catchments, tabulates their areas and describes the declaration process.

Many catchments supplying water for domestic, irrigation or other purposes within Victoria are protected under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994. These catchments have significant values as a source of water supply, both for domestic and for stock and domestic use.

This information assists planners and those managing land disturbance or development activities to readily determine the suitability of proposed activities within these catchment areas.

Declaration imposes responsibilities on any public bodies to planning of land within a declared area through varous legal channels as well as the Catchment and Land Protection Act.

Melbourne Metropolitan Water Supply Catchments

Water Supply catchments for the Melbourne metropolitan area are managed by the Melbourne Water Corporation. These catchments are mostly forested, with water supply the primary land use. The majority are mostly closed to public access, to protect the water resource.

An underlying principle of catchment planning is to recognise water production as a valid land use activity.
Water in streams, drainage lines and storages is extremely vulnerable to deterioration and therefore requires a high level of protection. Many water quality problems can be minimised if land use is consistent with the capability of the land - that is, the ability of the land to sustain a proposed use.

Photo: Lake Hume
Bethanga area of Lake Hume Water Supply Catchment, overlooking Lake Hume.

Water from the Lake is mainly used for irrigation, with some for local domesticuse.

Other Legislation and Planning Controls

A number of actions and functions within other Acts complement this primary legislation, for example in pollution control and land use planning of public land.

Urban Water Authorities and Local Authorities may also have a strong involvement in water supply protection through local planning controls.

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