Program guidelines

Through Liveable Communities, Liveable Waterways, Melbourne Water is continuing to work with our existing customers. We also welcome new project ideas and partnership opportunities.

three woman weeding by a stream

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:

  • Connected habitat and catchments
  • Integrated water management (IWM) enablers
  • Science, innovation and technology
  • Liveable cities

Are you eligible to apply?

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

For more information on our program themes and principles and how we assess your application, please read our Program Guidelines. Further information on priority areas and activities for rural land projects, please visit our Private Landholders page.

Formulating your project idea

For examples of projects and activities that have secured funding in the past, see Featured projects and partnerships.

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.

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.

    Are you a private landholder?

    If so, you do not need an ABN or Auspice arrangement.

    Please visit our Private Landholder page for more information about the types of projects you can apply for and which themes they align to. Our Assessors will visit your property and discuss your project, the types of activities we fund and how much funding you would like to apply for, with you.

    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.



    Last updated:
    5 May 2023