The Melbourne Waterway Research-Practice Partnership between Melbourne Water and the Waterway Ecosystems Research Group (WERG) at the University of Melbourne, represents an approach to waterway management research within the Port Phillip and Westernport region that supports a truly dual focus of: (i) applied research to underpin the improved management of waterways and
(ii) knowledge exchange that integrates research findings and broader science with Melbourne Water activities (and those of other stakeholders).
The Partnership focusses on the drivers of waterway ecosystem condition in both urban and rural environments, and the prioritisation and design of interventions from the catchment- to reach-scale for the protection and improvement of waterway health. As well as helping to inform strategic planning, the research program is designed to be flexible and responsive so that it can also support Melbourne Water’s day-to-day activities. This includes providing direct and easy access to expert advice for Melbourne Water, through co-location of staff (at both the Melbourne Water and University of Melbourne offices) and regular formal and informal interaction opportunities between researchers and waterway managers.
The aims of the Partnership are to: (i) undertake dedicated timely and relevant research to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of waterway management across the region (the research scope covers both urban and rural waterways); (ii) develop formal strategies and activities to integrate findings from the research into Melbourne Water’s policy and practice; and (iii) develop formal opportunities for staff development and two-way exchange between Melbourne Water staff and University researchers, through training course, secondments, exchange programs and student research projects.