2Our Campaigns 1Healthy Rivers & Nature 0About Healthy Rivers Melbourne


Melbourne's demand for water is growing and our rivers are stressed and degraded. Energy intensive pipelines and desalination are not the answer, so what is a city like Melbourne to do? Become a water sensitive city...

The combined impacts of population growth, drought and climate change have taken their toll on the Yarra and the Thomson rivers that supply Melbourne with water.

We’ve taken too much water from our rivers for too many years and left them stressed and degraded.

Becoming a water-sensitive city

While we’re worrying about our dwindling water supply, a rainfall equal to Melbourne’s total annual water use falls on our city every year. Then, it runs away unused through our stormwater drains.

This is a great opportunity for us to rethink our attitudes to water and the value we place on healthy rivers and take an important step towards turning our fair city into a ‘water-sensitive city’. We can rethink the way we source, use and dispose of this precious resource.

A ‘water-sensitive’ city lives within its means by making more effective use of the water available – be it from rainwater, stormwater or recycled water. A water-sensitive city doesn’t jeopardise the health of its rivers.

This type of diversified system would make us very resilient to future climate and economic shocks. And it would provide us with greater security by lessening our need to continually seek out new sources of water.