Melbourne Water has launched a new Healthy Waterways Strategy interactive website, which includes the annual report card in a digital format for the first time.

The website is an important and essential tool for the Healthy Waterways Strategy 2018-2028. It allows users to explore how the region’s catchments and waterways are faring against the targets of the strategy while also updating the current state of waterway conditions and key values across each catchment.  

More than 220 different organisations worked together to develop the strategy.

Some of the key findings of the latest report card include:

  • Of the region’s 45 performance objectives, 43 are in progress and two are complete
  • All catchments are on track to achieve ten-year vegetation targets
  • The Maribyrnong, Werribee and Yarra catchments are on track to meet ten-year stormwater harvesting targets
  • All catchments are on track to achieve access targets
  • Despite COVID-19, targets for waterway participation have been met, with more than 35,000 people participating in waterway-related activities in 2020

To ensure progress continues to stay on track, Melbourne Water said efforts will need to increase in future years as targets become more challenging.

Professor Rob Vertessy, Chair of the strategy’s Regional Leadership Group, said the new report card is a great tool for measuring the strategy’s performance objectives – and the 2020 findings are a fantastic reflection of the collaborative efforts of the strategy’s regional leadership partners.

“The Healthy Waterways Strategy report card is a great tool for providing the region with information about what is occurring in each catchment so we can continue creating healthy waterways for everyone,” Mr Vertessy said.

“The results of this year’s annual report are a true testament to the collaborative efforts of the strategy’s regional leadership partners.

“By continuing to work together and committing to the strategy’s long-term visions for waterway health, we can ensure greater Melbourne remains a great place to live.”

The Healthy Waterways Strategy is a single framework for the management of rivers, wetlands and estuaries across the Port Phillip and Westernport region. This stretches from Gippsland in the east to Bacchus Marsh in the west, from the Macedon Ranges in the north down to Cape Schanck.

The strategy, along with the five Co-designed Catchment Programs for Werribee, Maribyrnong, Yarra, Dandenong and Westernport, offers the tools to protect the region’s waterways and enhance the long-term health, amenity and lifestyle of greater Melbourne.

Designed and endorsed by the community, the strategy brings together world-leading science and on-the-ground knowledge to collaboratively design visions and goals for each of Melbourne Water’s five catchments.

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