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:

    Know the challenges

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

    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 2020-21, Melbourne Water spent $4.8 million collecting litter and debris from our rivers, creeks and drainage system. In terms of volume that’s around 1,695 cubic metres – 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.

    Let's take action against litter

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

    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

    Know more about rivers and creeks

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

    Discover more about Melbourne, and read facts and history about our various rivers and creeks, including our:

    These and our many wetlands help make Melbourne the beautiful city it is.

    Meet your rivers and creeks


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