Why we care for Melbourne’s rivers and creeks

We share the greatest backyard in Melbourne. Our iconic rivers and creeks are the lifeblood of Melbourne’s natural landscape – they’re what makes living here great.

Watch this video for a quick overview on the issue:


    Aerial view of Melbourne
    Litter from our growing city is one of the challenges our waterways face.

    Know the challenges

    Melbourne's rivers and creeks provide places for us to exercise, relax, socialise and connect with nature – which are important for the liveability of our great city as well as the health and wellbeing of our communities.

    However, Greater Melbourne is experiencing a period of profound change. Melbourne’s population has been booming since the turn of the century. We’ve added 1.4 million new residents since 2001 – and we know that over the next 50 years our population is expected to grow to almost 8 million. 

    This growth will continue to put pressure on the health of our rivers and creeks and their surrounding open spaces. This includes more litter reaching our beautiful waterways every day.

    In 2019-20, Melbourne Water spent $3.95 million collecting litter and debris from our rivers, creeks and drainage system. In terms of volume it’s around 1,690 cubic metres – that’s more than half an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

    We’re working to meet these challenges, but we can’t do it alone. Litter is everyone’s responsibility and we can all play a role in keeping our rivers and creeks beautiful. Let’s keep them clean today, so we can all enjoy them tomorrow.

    Give our waterways a hand by putting litter in the bin. No bins around? Take your little home with you.


    Litter being placed into outdoor bin
    Give our waterways a helping hand by picking up litter when you see it.

    Let's take action against litter

    At Melbourne Water, we’re looking to do our bit: we're investing in projects to understand why littering occurs, where it comes from, how it is transported, what threats it poses to our rivers and creeks, as well as identifying the most effective solutions. Read the litter action programs we run, and how you can get involved. 

    Let’s all play a role, so that we can continue to enjoy Melbourne’s famous lifestyle in a city of beautiful and clean rivers, creeks and surrounding open spaces. Litter is everyone's responsibility. So make sure you always put your litter in the bin. No bins around? Take your litter home with you.

    Take action against litter



    Woman jogs along the Maribyrnong River Trail
    Find out more about the Maribyrnong River today.

    Know more about rivers and creeks

    Discover more about Melbourne, and read facts and history about our various rivers and creeks, including our Yarra and the many wetlands that help make Melbourne the beautiful city it is.

    Meet your rivers and creeks



    Four people having a barbecue next to a river
    In the mood for a cook-up? Why not choose a place with a great waterfront view?

    Ways to enjoy your rivers and creeks

    There are countless ways to enjoy Melbourne's rivers and creeks – with many of them forming the backdrop to some of Melbourne’s most iconic landmarks. Our waterways are a popular spot for local walkers and joggers and provide us with meeting spots to get together with family and friends. The beautiful landscapes also make them ideal for some time out from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

    Looking for something to do this weekend? Why not visit one of our beautiful rivers and creeks?

    Find activities by the water


    Last updated:
    24 August 2021