Water Act

The Water Act 1989 (Vic) provides the legal framework for managing Victoria’s water resources. It is available online at the Victorian Law Today Library.

The main purpose of the Water Act is to:

  • promote the equitable and efficient use of our water resources

  • make sure our water resources are conserved and properly managed for the benefit of all Victorians

  • increase community involvement in conserving and managing our water resources

By-law No. 1: Water Supply Protection 2018

Among other things, the Act states that we have the power to make by-laws - special rules published in the Government Gazette which apply within a specific area of Melbourne Water’s responsibility. Our by-laws are subject to compulsory sunset clauses and cease operating after 10 years unless they are remade.

Melbourne Water currently has one operating by-law. By-law No. 1 was made on 13 September 2018 and its objectives include:

  • protecting, preventing pollution of and preventing damage to the water supply catchments and the water supply system
  • prohibiting interference with water supply facilities and certain catchment areas
  • enabling us to publish notices specifying land, areas and works subject to prohibited access or activity.

Last updated:
3 July 2020