Liveable Communities, Liveable Waterways Program

Apply for Melbourne Water’s streamlined and flexible incentives program: Liveable Communities, Liveable Waterways.

For over 25 years, Melbourne Water has worked in partnership with our customers and the community to undertake a range of activities that have helped us improve the health of our waterways and deliver our vision to enhance life and liveability.

Liveable Communities, Liveable Waterways builds on our proud partnership history through a strong focus on innovation, healthy environments, liveability and collaboration.

At this point in time Melbourne Water is targeting Liveable Communities Liveable Waterways applications for:

  • waterway vegetation management

  • stormwater management

  • rural land management to support improved water quality outcomes

  • targeted program initiatives.

Follow our streamlined application process and learn how to apply.

Are you a private landholder?

If you own or manage a waterway on your property, you may be eligible for a grant for many activities including revegetation, weed control and fencing. You can apply for a combination of activities using a single application form. We encourage you to apply for funding using our Incentives system, however if not possible, our team can email or post an application form or receive your application over the phone.

We give preference to projects that fall in the priority areas, shown on our interactive map.  

Our Assessors will visit your property and discuss your project idea, the types of activities we fund and how much funding you would like to apply for. 

If you are the landholder or land manager, you do not need an ABN or Auspice arrangement. 

Read our Private Landholders Fact Sheet to find see full list of activities funded and more information. 

Program guidelines

We are looking for projects and longer-term partnerships that provide value to Melbourne Water, our customers, partners and community by aligning with at least one of the following themes:

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Connected habitat and catchments

Works that focus on protecting waterways and biodiversity and are aligned with Melbourne Water’s strategies. 


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Integrated water management (IWM) enablers

Initiatives ranging in scale from precinct to regional that facilitate multi-partner IWM, influence industry and address existing barriers to implementation. 


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Science, innovation and technology

Research and technology that can support best practice management and improve how MW and our partners work together.


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Liveable cities

Local projects that support at least one of the following: healthy waterways, green open spaces and resilient urban landscapes, and deliver community and environmental benefits. 


You can find an indicative list of the types of projects or activities you could apply for in our Program Guidelines. 

We encourage you to discuss your proposed idea with us before applying.


 Are you eligible to apply?

  • To be eligible for consideration, your project must be located within Melbourne Water’s operating area:

  • You must align with one or more of the four program themes and our guiding principles. Some principles may not be required for all applications, for example; private landholders (please check our guidelines).
  • You cannot apply for funding if you have failed to complete and report on previous projects to the satisfaction of Melbourne Water.

Activities not eligible for funding

  • Waterway or streamside fencing that is less than 10m from top of bank. 

  • Works that would alter the form of the waterway, for example creating a pool in a creek. 

  • Funding towards compliance activity or rectification associated with illegal works. 

  • Funding for the delivery of works which form part of the conditions of a planning permit or permit application. 

  • Erosion control   

    • •    The Victorian Water Act (1989) and Victorian Water Industry Act (1994) do not obligate Melbourne Water to complete works with land not owned or managed by Melbourne Water nor does it obligate Melbourne Water to protect private assets in and around waterways from erosion. 
      •    Melbourne Water has a strong mandate from the state government that it is inappropriate to invest public funds for the sole protection of private assets. Any intervention must only be for the purposes of environmental condition or waterway function. 
      •    We can assist in facilitating private landowners to undertake works to protect private assets, at their own cost, through general and technical advice and the provision of a 'Works on Waterways' permit.

More information

Find land for your project idea 

Want to turn our land into active community spaces for everyone to enjoy? Our Space. Your Place lets you search Melbourne Water sites for an appropriate space for your community concept. 

For more information, go to Use our land

Is your project on crown land or public land? 

If your project is on crown land, you must have a license from the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action. You can contact the department directly or speak to your Melbourne Water contact person who can help you with your application for a license. 

If your project is on public land, you must obtain written approval from the landowner/manager who will ensure that relevant occupational health and safety requirements are considered. 

When submitting your online application, please include a signed document from the land manager as evidence of support. You can use the following template: 

Are you applying on behalf of a business, incorporated entity or group? 

If so, you need to provide your ABN. If you do not meet these requirements you may want to consider entering into an auspice arrangement with an appropriate Auspice agency. We will accept applications from groups who are incorporated through Landcare Victoria Limited.

Permit requirements and standards 

Please note, any offer of funding from Liveable Communities, Liveable Waterways does not negate the need to obtain a permit or other necessary approvals from Melbourne Water or other relevant authorities to undertake your agreed project. 

Please check the FAQs in Resource hub to ensure you've covered all legal, financial and locational considerations.

Contact us

 131 722

[email protected]



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