Research and innovation

Research and innovation at Melbourne Water is fundamental to realising our vision of ‘Enhancing Life and Liveability’ for the greater Melbourne area and supports each of the three pillars of our service to the community: 

  • Healthy People – Strengthening the wellbeing of the community  
  • Healthy Places – Co-creating the world’s most desirable places to live 
  • Healthy Environment – Enhancing the natural environment.



Through research and innovation we look for better, faster and more cost-effective ways to deliver our services; enhance our capability; help reduce environmental and public health risks; enhance liveability; inform regulation and policy, and improve efficiency and productivity.  


Our research programs cover all areas of our business from drinking water to waterway health, from wastewater treatment to asset management. Some programs aim to deal with existing issues such flood mitigation or pollutants while others ensure we are prepared for potential future issues such as bushfire planning or climate change.

Asset management 

WTP covers

This program focuses on increasing the safety, effectiveness, efficiency and resilience of built and natural assets; the use of new and emerging materials and technologies; extending the useful life of assets; and optimising asset management.

An important component of the program is Melbourne Water’s interaction with, and support of, Water Services Association of Australia’s (WSAA) Asset Management Research Program.

Drinking water 

Monitoring our resevoirs

Microbial and aesthetic water quality are the major research drivers.  Several current and planned projects address water quality issues ranging from the catchments to the supply to the retail water companies and consumers.  Projects cover areas related to bushfire impacts, pathogen risks and reservoir behaviour. 


Melbourne Water is an innovative business, and safety is no exception to this. We are committed to improving the safety and wellbeing of both our employees and our contract partners by investing in new technologies and initiatives that offer a new approach to traditional safety.

Wastewater treatment technology, marine and biosolids research

Drone monitoring

This program focuses on increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the wastewater treatment processes and the management of current and emerging process risks at the Eastern and Western Wastewater Treatment Plants. A major aim of the program is to reduce the capital and operating costs associated with sewage treatment, while improving service delivery. This includes providing data and information to influence evidence-based regulation of environmental discharges from our wastewater treatment activities.

Water recycling and integrated water management research

Renewable energy at the Western Treatment Plant

This program is involved in research projects which will lead to: (i) an improvement in quality, quantity, cost effectiveness, related environmental issues and reliability of supply of recycled and alternative water sources, (ii) support for the implementation of integrated water management, and (iii) ensures that Melbourne Water is well positioned to cope with changes over the next decade in both areas.

Waterways, wetlands and aquatic ecology

Trees in the water at Western Port

The major components of research in the waterways and wetlands research program relate to water resource planning, stormwater management, river health improvement and public health protection undertaken mainly within the framework of several universities, research agencies, and CRCs.



Innovation refers to how we create and implement more effective and safer processes, products and ideas. Melbourne Water aims for a culture of innovation across the whole business which will result in creative ideas, new ways of solving problems, and help us adapt to changes in our environment.