Conserving our water resources

Water is one of our most precious resources. Sustainably managing our water supply and improving waterway health is vital to support the ecology of our landscapes to thrive in the face of a changing climate, remove pollution from stormwater flows and benefit the health and wellbeing of our community.

Our city is recognised as a leader in local water management and together with our partners and community is continuing to develop new and improved sustainable solutions that integrate water conservation, pollution removal and the protection of our waterways, in-stream habitats and aquatic ecosystems.


Our achievements so far

  • Converted grasses on our sports field to drought tolerant grasses reducing watering frequency from seven to two days a week in summer.
  • Installed rain gardens at MC Square to remove pollution and nutrients from stormwater that ends up in our creeks and rivers.
  • Saved thousands of litres of water wastage through live monitoring of irrigation systems at our sporting grounds and facilities.
  • Constructed five stormwater capture and reuse systems with a capacity of over one million litres of water to reduce reliance on mains tap water for irrigation.
  • Harvested tank water from our depot and reserves to water trees in our open spaces, parks and reserves.                                            
  • Replaced mains water with harvested rainwater for toilets at MC Square in Doncaster and at the Council Depot.


Turning our water sustainability goals into action

What we are doing

  • Supporting Waterwatch, a community science program monitoring the health of over 29 waterways and their impact on stream ecology. The results are used to help guide future water management actions and sustainability initiatives.
  • Ongoing auditing and upgrading of irrigation systems across the city for better monitoring of water usage and faster issue identification and resolution resulting in improved water efficiency and reduced wastage.
  • Improving our understanding of local waterway health through waterway monitoring and research.
  • Investigating new ways to harvest water through water sensitive urban design at our shopping centres and car parks.
  • Undertaking oval drainage projects to improve drainage capabilities and water retention reducing the need for watering throughout the Spring/Summer months.
  • Supporting Community volunteers in collaboration with local Landcare and environmental friends groups with their waterway rehabilitation programs via the Middle Yarra Landcare Network.
  • Exploring new and innovative ways to retain moisture in landscapes and reduce stormwater run-off and pollution into our waterways.
  • Developing opportunities to facilitate the harvesting of storm water from roads and infrastructure developments for private land holder access.
  • Assisting with monitoring extreme climate risks including flood events, reduction in biodiversity, drought, and other ecological pressures on our waterways and aquatic ecosystems.
  • Advocating for integrated water management, utilizing stormwater harvesting for domestic use and offsetting potable usage and sewerage connection.
  • Offering a Spring Outdoors program which includes a range of events, workshops and activities such as the WaterBug blitz, and webinars on Waterway health.


The Waterwatch Program

Waterwatch is a citizen science program for monitoring waterway health. In Manningham, Waterwatch has been connecting local communities with waterway health and sustainable water issues since 1993.

In 2007 a group of concerned volunteers initiated the Manningham Waterwatch Monitoring Network. This group continues to monitor the health of our local waterways and has carried out over 10,000 water quality measurements at more than 40 sites across the municipality. The data collected is used to assess the health of Manningham's waterways and identify what is currently impacting stream ecology.

In addition to water quality monitoring, many volunteers are affiliated with local action groups including Landcare and ‘friends of’ groups which undertake stream rehabilitation programs that contribute to catchment and waterway health.


Volunteer to be a citizen scientist

Citizen scientists are people who want to make a difference to the environment and their community. You can join this movement by taking part in programs like Waterwatch, you can email to let us know you're interested at