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A bit more about Healthy Rivers

Victoria’s rivers are the jewel in our state crown. They provide us with the water we drink, and are the lifeblood of our ecosystems and communities. We can’t live without them.

So it can be disheartening to hear that they are under more stress now than ever before.

After more than a decade of drought, most people now know about the plight of Victoria’s rivers. But even before climate change became front page news, our rivers were in trouble.

In 2009, every single Victorian river had less than 10 percent of its natural winter water flow. Our water bird populations in Victoria declined by 50 percent in the year between 2006 and 2007. And flows in the Campaspe River were 20 times less than under natural drought conditions.

The truth of the matter is we take too much water from our rivers, and we put too much pollution back in.

If the situation sounds dire, that’s because it is.

Thankfully, a strong voice is rising up to meet it.

Across Victoria thousands of people are coming together to fight for our rivers. From city dwellers and environmentalists, to businesses and irrigators, Victorians want to do more to use water wisely. We also want to create water supply systems for our agriculture and our cities that contribute to the restoration of our rivers, and not their destruction.

Now more than ever, we need a strong voice in support of water for our environment. We need to ensure that our rivers survive the fight over resources and thrive in a rapidly changing climate. ‘Business as usual’ is no longer an option.

That’s why Environment Victoria is working with people from all over the state to realise our vision of a healthy rivers future. We want rivers that sustain abundant life and prosperous communities. And that provide us with good food, clean water and places to love and enjoy.

Imagine a future where our rivers are healthy

That’s the future we’re working towards. A future where:

  • all Victorian rivers and wetlands have the water they need to survive and thrive;
  • our federal and state governments, and others, buy back water for environmental flows; and
  • those environmental flows are managed and guaranteed by an independent authority

That’s why we’re working hard to:

  • cultivate a strong, informed and active community movement
  • to advance the policies and decisions that will protect and deliver environmental flows; and
  • promote shared solutions with others in the community

We’re already making a difference

Over the last few years, Environment Victoria has earned a reputation as a credible, respected and important stakeholder in Victorian water management and river health. We’ve raised the public profile of river and water management issues and influenced policy to protect and restore our state’s waterways. We’ve also built and cultivated a network of river champions across the state.

Read more about some of our successes here

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© 2014 Environment Victoria
 
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