History and heritage

Melbourne Water has played a significant role in Melbourne’s development, from creating our underground sewerage system in the 1890s to completing Thomson Reservoir, Melbourne’s largest water supply reservoir in 1984.

Cocoroc township at Western Treatment Plant site

Today, we are responsible for a rich and diverse portfolio of heritage assets which we inherited largely from our predecessor, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works.  Many of these assets were built in the formative years of Melbourne’s settlement.

But our commitment to preserving heritage goes beyond built structures. It extends to respecting the cultural heritage places of the Traditional Owners of the land, rivers and creeks that we care for today, and that we are ever-mindful of the importance they have for our indigenous communities.

Acknowledgement of country

Melbourne Water respectfully acknowledges the Bunurong, Gunaikurnai, Taungurung, Wadawurrung and Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and water on which we rely and operate. We pay our deepest respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

We recognise and respect the continued cultural and spiritual connections that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have with the land and water they have cared for and protected for thousands of generations.

We demonstrate our ongoing commitment to reconciliation through our partnerships with Traditional Owners and the broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, as we work together to manage land and water now and into the future, while maintaining and respecting cultural and spiritual connections.

Last updated:
11 August 2022