Waterways and drainage annual assessment

Melbourne Water is the manager of all waterways and major drainage systems in the Port Phillip and Westernport region. That means we have responsibilities to protect and improve the health of our rivers, creeks, wetlands, and estuaries, provide regional drainage services, and work with partner organisations on flood protection, preparedness, response, and warning initiatives across the region. 

The work we do in waterways and drainage is funded through the Waterways and Drainage Charge. The Charge applies to all serviced properties – including homeowners and non-residential customers – located within our waterway management district, which extends from up in the Yarra Ranges across to Ballan in the west, through to Tarago in the east, and includes Phillip Island and the Mornington Peninsula in the south. The Charge is collected by local water corporations on our behalf. 

Waterways and drainage investment plan

The program of works we undertake is outlined in our Waterways and Drainage Investment Plan, which guides how we maintain and improve the rivers, creeks and estuaries of our region, protect and prepare the community for flooding, and manage stormwater in the region over a five year period. A summary of our current Waterways and Drainage Investment Plan – covering the period 2016/17 to 2020/21– is available to download below. 

This Waterways and Drainage Investment Plan replaced the previous Waterways and Drainage Strategy in July 2016. 

The commitments of the Plan (and the previous Waterways and Drainage Strategy) are tracked and assessed against key performance indicators and/or targets, which are independently assessed each year to track progress of the implementation of the Plan. The results of these independent assessments are made available to the public through Melbourne Water’s annual report or published online. 

The current Plan includes 21 targets (and associated performance measures) against which progress has been independently assessed. The overall results of the independent assessment of the current Plan are listed below. 

How the targets are assessed

The following criteria is used to measure what we've achieved:

  • ‘Met’ – 100% of measures are achieved and or the target value is achieved
  • ‘Substantially met’ – 80% of measures are achieved, target value is met on measures achieved and target value is likely to be achieved over the five year period
  • ‘Not met’ – the specification for this target has not been satisfied for the period assessed. That may be due to internal or external factors; all factors are recorded in the assessment. Target value may or may not be achieved over the five year period. 
  • ‘Not scored’ – target is not applicable to the yearly reporting period as these targets are measured over longer timeframes. 

2017-2018 overall assessment results

Number of targets Met  Substantially met Not met Not scored
21 18 2 1 0

2017-2018 detailed assessment results

Plan target 2017-2018 target value Assessment Comment
Greater than 80% community satisfaction with waterways is maintained over 2016/17-2020/21 >80% Met N/A
Waterways that have undergone active management will be maintained or improved against an established baseline by 2021 >80% Met N/A
Restore at least 5km of concrete drains to a more natural waterway by 2021 N/A Met No target specified for this implementation year; on track to meet target within five year Plan.
Invest directly in improving 30 ha of green spaces for shade and cooling across Melbourne by 2021 1 ha Met N/A
Interventions completed over 2016/17-2020/21 maintain or reduce runoff and pollutants from urban and rural catchments against an established baseline >155 tN >5112 tTSS Met N/A
100% of facilitated stormwater management over 2016/17-2020/21 achieves multiple benefits (e.g. greening, flood protection, alternative water, capacity building etc) 100% Met N/A
100% stormwater diversion licences are managed over 2016/17-2020/21 in accordance with the rules 100% Met N/A
100 capacity building initiatives will be delivered under the Clearwater program over 2016/17-2020/21 20 Met N/A
100% increase in number of catchments that are flood mapped by Melbourne Water or in partnership with others to improve understanding of current and future risks by 2021 (versus 2015/16 baseline) 2017/18: 32% (22 catchments)
2020/21: 100% (70 catchments)
Met N/A
20% increase in the number of people, directly affected by flooding, who are aware of their risk by 2021 (versus 2015/16 baseline) 6% Met N/A
Lead collaborative development of 50% of new flood management options and delivery plans for the region by 2021 15 projects completed or led; 40% of collaborative projects Met N/A
15% reduction in flood effects, achieved by projects in delivery by Melbourne Water by 2021 N/A Met No target specified for this implementation year; on track to meet target within five year Plan.
100% Diversions will be managed to meet the service requirements for licence and trade as specified in Melbourne Water’s customer charter for diversion services 100% Substantially met In one instance, one of four Service Standards targets associated was not met, resulting in an assessment of overall 94% target compliance in customer service for diversions over the year.
100% annual environmental watering requirements delivered by Melbourne Water are met to the satisfaction of our customer the Victorian Environmental Water Holder 100% Met N/A
100% Diversions will be managed in accordance with management plans and rules throughout the 2016/17-2020/21 period 100% Not met For the year, 7.86% of requested diversions were incorrectly restricted. This issue has been investigated and corrected in Melbourne Water’s management processes.
300 km of waterways where environmental water is improved or enhanced through management tools such as stream flow management plans by 2021 50km Met N/A
100% of incidents that require a response will be managed promptly and in accordance with Environment Protection Act 1979 throughout the 2016/17-2020/21 period 100% Met N/A
100% of notifiable events on stipulated waterways will be provided to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) throughout the 2016/17-2020/21 period 100% Met N/A
100% of flood related property (information) statement updates are completed within one month of Melbourne Water receiving notification of a change in the relevant circumstances throughout the 2016/17-2020/21 period 100% Met N/A
100% of statutory and 95% of agreed industry response times will be achieved for development referrals 100% Substantially met 96.6% of statutory response times and 94.8% of agreed industry response times were achieved for development referrals over the year.
100% of Development Services Schemes and Strategies will be implemented and reviewed according to the development planning program 100% Met N/A

2016-2017 overall assessment results

Number of targets Met Substantially met Not met Not scored
21 15 4 0

2

2016-2017 detailed assessment results

Plan target 2017-2018 target value Assessement  Comment
Greater than 80% community satisfaction with waterways is maintained over 2016/17-2020/21 ​>80% Not scored In the Plan, this target is only assessed every two years, and the last survey was completed in 2015-2016. Based on results from other years, this target is on track for the Plan overall.
Waterways that have undergone active management will be maintained or improved against an established baseline by 2021 N/A Met N/A
Restore at least 5km of concrete drains to a more natural waterway by 2021 N/A Met No target specified for this implementation year; on track to meet target within five year Plan.
Invest directly in improving 30 ha of green spaces for shade and cooling across Melbourne by 2021 N/A Met No target specified for this implementation year; on track to meet target within five year Plan.
Interventions completed over 2016/17-2020/21 maintain or reduce runoff and pollutants from urban and rural catchments against an established baseline Definition of baseline for coming years Met N/A
100% of facilitated stormwater management over 2016/17-2020/21 achieves multiple benefits (e.g. greening, flood protection, alternative water, capacity building etc) 100% Met N/A
100% stormwater diversion licences are managed over 2016/17-2020/21 in accordance with the rules 100% Met N/A
100 capacity building initiatives will be delivered under the Clearwater program over 2016/17-2020/21 20 Met N/A
100% increase in number of catchments that are flood mapped by Melbourne Water or in partnership with others to improve understanding of current and future risks by 2021 (versus 2015/16 baseline)

2016/17: 8% (6 catchments)

2020/21: 100% (70 catchments)

Met Target considered on track for the Plan overall.
20% increase in the number of people, directly affected by flooding, who are aware of their risk by 2021 (versus 2015/16 baseline) 80% of the education and emergency planning activities listed for the year have been completed Substantially met 79% of the total number of education and emergency planning activities listed for the year were completed.
Lead collaborative development of 50% of new flood management options and delivery plans for the region by 2021 5 projects completed or led; 40% of collaborative projects Met N/A
15% reduction in flood effects, achieved by projects in delivery by Melbourne Water by 2021 N/A Met No target specified for this implementation year; on track to meet target within five year Plan.
100% Diversions will be managed to meet the service requirements for licence and trade as specified in Melbourne Water’s customer charter for diversion services 100% Met N/A
100% annual environmental watering requirements delivered by Melbourne Water are met to the satisfaction of our customer the Victorian Environmental Water Holder 100% Met N/A
100% Diversions will be managed in accordance with management plans and rules throughout the 2016/17-2020/21 period 100% Met N/A
300 km of waterways where environmental water is improved or enhanced through management tools such as stream flow management plans by 2021 20km Not scored For the year, 22km of waterway was on track to be improved or enhanced, however, a change in government policy caused delays to approval processes so confirmation of achievement of the target could not be provided. The target is considered on track for the overall Plan period.
100% of incidents that require a response will be managed promptly and in accordance with Environment Protection Act 1979 throughout the 2016/17-2020/21 period 100% Substantially met While Melbourne Water reported all incidents in the period were met promptly, in three cases the Debrief Reports produced did not provide sufficient detail for auditing purposes. New guidelines around reporting were recommended in response to this gap.
100% of notifiable events on stipulated waterways will be provided to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) throughout the 2016/17-2020/21 period 100% Met N/A
100% of flood related property (information) statement updates are completed within one month of Melbourne Water receiving notification of a change in the relevant circumstances throughout the 2016/17-2020/21 period 100% Substantially met In one instance, a statement update was issued one day past the allowable timeframe specified in the target.
100% of statutory and 95% of agreed industry response times will be achieved for development referrals 100% Substantially met For development referrals over the year, 95.85% of statutory referrals, 93.72% of non works offers, 92% of works offers, and 99.03% of third party referrals were processed within the timeframes specified in the target.
100% of Development Services Schemes and Strategies will be implemented and reviewed according to the development planning program 100% Met N/A

Waterways and drainage strategy

The previous Waterways and drainage strategy (2013–2018) outlined the work that Melbourne Water would complete in managing our waterways and drainage systems over this five year period. The strategy was our commitment to customers, stakeholders and the community.  In 2016, the WDIP superseded the Waterways and drainage strategy (2013-2018).

The previous commitments were outlined through 39 targets detailed in the strategy. Progress against these targets were assessed every year by an independent auditor.

Ernst and Young completed the second (July 2015) and third (July 2016) annual assessments of Melbourne Water’s progress in implementing the targets. 

2016 assessment results 

All 39 targets were assessed as on track for the year. 32 of the targets were assessed as met and 7 as substantially met.

The findings of the assessment are summarised in the table below.  

​Commitment area ​Number of targets ​Met ​Substantially met ​Not met ​Not scored
​Healthy waterways ​7 ​6 ​1
​Valued stormwater ​5 ​4 ​1
​Effective flood management and drainage ​10 ​7 ​3
​Integrated urban development ​8 ​6 ​2
​Shared expert knowledge ​4 ​4
​Engaged customer and knowledge ​5 ​5
Total ​39 32 7

 2015 assessment results

30 of the targets were assessed as met, 7 as substantially met and 2 as not scored.

The findings of the assessment are summarised in the table below.

​Commitment area ​​Number of targets Met​ ​​Substantially met ​Not met​ ​​Not scored
​​Healthy waterways ​7 ​5 ​2
​​Valued stormwater ​5 ​4 ​1
​​Effective flood management and drainage ​10 ​7 ​3
​Integrated urban development ​8 ​7 ​1
​​Shared expert knowledge ​4 ​4
​​Engaged customer and knowledge ​5 ​3 ​2
​Total ​39 ​30 ​7 ​2

2014 assessment results

Progress for the 2014/15 year is summarised below, having been recorded against two broad performance indicators.

Performance Indicators 2013-14 Result 2014-15 Result 2014-15 Target Variance to Prior Year​ Variance to Target

WW1 Waterways - Drainage and Flood protection:

A further 10 % of currently known intolerable (extreme) flood risks will be reduced by 2018

N/A N/A 10% by 2018* N/A N/A

WW2 Waterways condition:

Achievement of Water Plan implementation targets set out in the Healthy Waterways Strategy

100.0% 100.0% 100.0% N/A N/A

*Note: The 2014–15 performance indicator was assessed as on track to be met by 2018, validated in an independent audit.

Further information on the Waterways and Drainage Charge is available on our website, and our Waterways local updates list the waterways and drainage projects funded in each council area.

Last updated:
18 June 2019