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Water - a scarce resource

Christine Forster

Chair, Victorian Catchment Management Council.

Managing Victoria's Catchments

1. Victorian Catchment Management Framework

Established under the Catchment and Land Protection (CALP)Act 1994

9 Catchment Management Authorities and one CALP Board


  • Community involvement and commitment to natural resource management
  • Maintenance and improvement
  • Prevention and reversal of land degradation
  • Conservation and protection of the diversity and extent of natural ecosystems
  • Minimisation of damage to public and private assests from flooding
  • Minisation of the economic and environmental impact of pest plants and animals


  • Community empowerment
  • Integrated management
  • Tergeted investment
  • Accountability
  • Administrative efficiency

5 Rural Water Authorities responsible for the management and distribution of irrigation and stock and domestic water supplies

2. Working within the MDBC Cap

  • 1989 Water Act provides the framework for bulk entitlements to water, property rights and trading regime
  • Significant land use change stimulated demand for water in the upper catchment
  • Farm Dams Review
  • Draft River Health Strategy
  • Streamflow Management Plans - Community Consultative Committees

3. National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality

Key elements

  • Targets and standards for natural resource management
  • Integrated catchment plans
  • Capacity building for communities to implement plans
  • Improved governance arrangements including property rights, pricing and regulatory reforms
  • Clearly articulated roles for Commonwealth, State/Territory, local government and community
  • Public communication program

4. Participating in water resources processes

  • Membership of water boards and their consultative committees
  • Active participation in development of regional catchment strategies and plans
  • Membership of Streanflow Management Planning consultative committees
  • Become informed about the issues involved with managing our scarce water resource

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