Stream Flow Management
Stream Flow Management Plans approved - September 2012 The Woori Yallock Creek and Little Yarra and Don Rivers Stream Flow Management Plans have been signed off by the Minister for Water, and can be downloaded on this page. We will shortly provide the plans to all licence holders in the catchment and advise of their new licence conditions.
Melbourne Water issues licences to take and use water from the Yarra River and its tributaries. These licences are normally granted to farmers who take water directly from waterways or from farm dams.
Declaration of Water Supply Protection Areas
The first step in preparing a Stream Flow Management Plan (SFMP) is for the Minister for Water to declare a Water Supply Protection Area. These are areas where the water supply is under stress (for example, through over-allocation, where environmental values are at risk or where future development is proposed). They can be declared for surface water areas, groundwater management units, or both. These declarations enable Stream Flow Management Plans to be produced for each surfacewater area that will specify the future management of surface water licences.
Stream Flow Management Plans in the Yarra River Basin
Stream Flow Management Plans are developed with the aim of sharing the available water sustainably between all users. This ensures that the licensed diverters and the environment receive the water they need. Each plan is developed by a committee, which is made up of local licensed diverters, representatives from local and state government, Environment Victoria and Melbourne Water. Melbourne Water also provides executive and technical support to these committees.
Stream Flow Management Plans include management arrangements that:
- Recognise historical rights to water in the catchment
- Establish environmental flows, including minimum flows and other aspects of the flow regime
- Outline conditions that are placed on licences to protect the environment or to protect other water users
- Define the total volume of water that can be taken under licence in any year (a cap on diversions)
- Establish trading rules that will apply to transfers of water entitlements into, and within, the catchment.
The draft plans are developed and then distributed publicly for consultation. After considering the feedback from the community, the committee finalises its plan and submits it to the government for approval under the Water Act 1989. Once approved, Melbourne Water must apply the prescriptions whenever it considers a licence application, sets licence conditions or approves a water transfer. The plans are then reviewed every five years by the advisory committee.
Melbourne Water has a program to develop Stream Flow Management Plans for streams across the Yarra Basin, more detailed information is in the table below. Plans for the areas can be viewed by clicking on the plan name.
|Diamond Creek (PDF, 762kb)||Published 2003 - under review|
|Hoddles Creek (PDF, 962kb)||Published 2003 - under review|
|Little Yarra and Don Rivers (PDF, 1.84mb)||Published 2012|
|Olinda Creek (PDF, 1.8mb)||Published 2007|
|Plenty River (PDF, 1.0mb)||Published 2007|
|Steels, Pauls and Dixons Creeks (PDF, 1.8mb)||Published 2007|
|Woori Yallock Creek (PDF, 2.55mb)||Published 2012|
|Stringybark Creek (PDF, 1.7mb)||Published 2007|
Read more on the history of Stream Flow Management Plan development (PDF, 858kb). For more information, please contact Melbourne Water on 131 722.
Annual Reports of the Stream Flow Management Plans
We produce annual reports for each Stream Flow Management Plan this is a requirement of the Water Act. The reports detail Melbourne Waters activities in administering and enforcing the management plan, and provide further required information. You can review the annual reports for 2011/12 here.
- Diamond Creek 2011/12 Annual Report (PDF, 494kb)
- Hoddles Creek 2011/12 Annual Report (PDF, 821kb)
- Olinda Creek 2011/12 Annual Report (PDF, 625kb)
- Plenty River 2011/12 Annual Report (PDF, 478kb)
- Steels, Pauls and Dixons Creeks 2011/12 Annual Report (PDF, 832kb)
- Stringybark Creek 2011/12 Annual Report (PDF, 1.13mb)
Contact us if you would like to view earlier reports.