Your gateway to a wide range of natural resources information and associated maps

Victorian Resources Online

Water Supply Catchment Protection

Declared Special Water Supply Catchment Areas | 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 Special Water Supply Catchment Areas

There are 134 Declared Special Water Supply Catchment Areas (formerly known as Proclaimed Water Supply Catchments) within Victoria. The relationship of water quality and quantity with different levels of catchment planning is the basis for catchment planning and management under the provisions of the Catchment and Land Protection Act, 1994, (formerly the Soil Conservation and Land Utilisation Act, 1958). Under this Act, Special Water Supply Catchment Areas are Declared Special Areas and officially recognised designated catchments for water supply purposes. This process highlights to the community, land managers and planners, the importance of the catchment for water supply purposes.

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.

Page top