Waterway protection and management
The key processes which help to protect and manage waterways are:
Legislation, policies and guidelines - The Department advises on legislation and prepares policies and guidelines about waterway protection and management. We assist other state agencies to consider waterway management in their policies and guidelines, when this is appropriate.
Water allocation planning and water licensing - The water requirements of waterways and other water dependent ecosystems are considered when decisions are made about how much water is available for use through the water allocation planning process. Waterways are also managed and protected via water licenses to take surface water and permits for works that may disturb the bed and banks of waterways.
Land use planning and development - The Department provides advice about protecting waterways and managing the effects of land use and development on them.
Improving water quality - We manage water quality through water quality improvement plans – these plans are developed to improve current water quality in estuaries (and the rivers and streams in their catchments) and to prevent additional deterioration. Catchment models are developed to support water quality improvement plans – they quantify the sources of nutrients flowing into rivers based on land use in the catchment, and are used to predict the impact of management practices on nutrient loads.
Restoring our waterways - The Department assists with planning, implementing and evaluating waterway management activities in priority waterways. We give specialist technical expertise about engineering works for restoration and offer information, tools and resources to assist with assessing, planning, monitoring and restoring waterways. For further information see Restoring our rivers, The River restoration manual, Water notes and Water facts.
We also provide assistance to natural resource management groups to develop plans for waterway management and restoration, including river action plans, river recovery plans and water management plans or programmes.
Remediation activities - The Department uses remediation activities to manage waterways. Oxygenation plants are used to manage low dissolved oxygen levels in estuaries. Soil amendments used to treat high nutrient levels in subsoil drainage.
Managing urban waterways - The Department provides guidance on managing waterways in the urban environment including the development of living stream.
Assessing waterway health - The Department uses information to underpin all of these management decisions. We assess water quality and waterway health to help us understand the current condition of waterways and the effectiveness of our management actions.