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.

Constructed waterway: Kennedy Creek DS Section 34 - Fallingwater Estate

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

Know our by-law

By-law No. 1: Water Supply Protection 2018

Among other things, the Water 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:
12 August 2020