Active projects

Exploring the optimum combination of centralised and decentralised approaches to stormwater management

Scaled Stormwater Management

This project will investigate optimum combinations of centralised and decentralised approaches to stormwater management to achieve Healthy Waterways Strategy stormwater performance objectives, including stormwater harvesting and infiltration, as well as the protection of headwater streams. The expected impact is an increased ability of Melbourne Water teams to utilise different SCM scenarios in the planning process, and improved decision-making on when and where to implement actions to protect headwater stream in urbanizing areas.
Project lead: Belinda Hatt. Project duration: 2023-24.
Project Summary

Application of real-time-control technology to the management of stormwater

Real Time Control

This project will test and develop applications of real-time control (RTC) technology to the management of urban stormwater, enhancing Melbourne Water’s ability to protect waterways and deliver more sustainable and liveable urban landscapes under urban growth and climate change. The expected impact is an an improved understanding of the potential for application of RTC to support the management of stream health and performance of constructed wetlands.
Project lead: Tim Fletcher. Project duration: 2023-28.
Project Summary

Development and application of stream and wetlands habitat suitability models to support Healthy Waterways Strategy planning

Modelling Waterways & Wetlands

This project will combine best-available biological and spatial data to continuously improve models, tools and capabilities to support defensible, cost effective prioritisation of management actions for waterways and wetlands, taking into account future threats and risks to support the development and review of the Healthy Waterways Strategy. The expected impact is an improved capability for: i) modelling the impact to habitat suitability of climate and land cover change scenarios and their interactive effects; and ii) quantifying the difference made by management actions.
Project lead: Yung En Chee. Project duration: 2023-28.
Project Summary

Assessment of deer control effectiveness at the Cardinia, Silvan and Upper Yarra water supply reservoirs

Deer Management

This project will assess the effectiveness of deer control to reduce the risks of faecal contamination of water supplies and impacts on vegetation; assess the accuracy of density estimates by comparison with known number of deer removed from fenced catchments during the control program; and improve understanding of the associations between deer density and indices of deer abundance and vegetation impacts to inform effective deer management by Melbourne Water. The expected impact is an improved capability for: i) modelling the impact to habitat suitability of climate and land cover change scenarios and their interactive effects; and ii) quantifying the difference made by management actions.
Project lead: Joe Greet. Project duration: 2023-26.
Project Summary

Traditional Owner-led restoration of urban billabongs

Billabongs (Traditional Owners)

Led by Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung, this project aims to demonstrate the importance and efficacy of TO-led wetland management and restoration of remnant billabongs, including environmental watering regimes, along the urbanised lower Birrarung (Yarra River). The expected impact is an enhanced i) ability for Melbourne Water teams to manage billabongs, through the use of flooding and cultural burns; and ii) participation and leadership by Wurundjeri in management.
Project lead: Joe Greet. Project duration: 2023-27.
Project Summary

Approaches to increasing the resilience of vegetation in a changing climate

Climate Impacts & Vegetation

This project will clarify and consolidate lessons on climate impacts on remnant vegetation, revegetation and invasive weeds and their management from recent research; exploring how this knowledge relates to planning and delivery of revegetation programs and articulate the limitations and opportunities for implementing climate resilient practices in the short-term. The expected impact is an improved understanding of the impact of provenance on long-term revegetation success, leading to more appropriate selection of climate adjusted seed/plant genetics.
Project lead: Sacha Jellinek. Project duration: 2023-25.
Project Summary

Improving stream management usingecological modelling and DNA barcoding

DNA Barcoding

This project will Develop robust DNA barcoding methods and DNA reference barcode library to enable routine species-level macroinvertebrate identification; build knowledge of species-level macroinvertebrate distributions, environmental habitats, and responses to human activities; and better quantify and track macroinvertebrate species losses or gains in response to pressures or mitigation actions. The expected impact is an improved understanding of: i) high macroinvertebrate biodiversity areas/hotspots (and the converse) and ii) candidate management actions and determinants of where they can be applied.
Project lead: Yung En Chee. Project duration: 2023-25.
Project Summary

Review and refining our long-term water quality monitoring network to support waterway management under a changing climate

Monitoring Water Quality

This project will review the suitability of the water quality network to meet Melbourne Water’s current and expected future needs, and optimise future data collection through site selection and integration of a range of sampling methods and measurement frequency. The expected impact is to support the development of HWS targets for waterways water quality and improved targeting of management intervention programs.
Project lead: Vaughn Grey. Project duration: 2023-28.
Project Summary

The impacts of ‘next generation’ citizen science programs

Citizen Science

This project will improve Melbourne Water’s understanding of how the transition to digital platforms for volunteer environmental monitoring influences the participation and retention of volunteers. The expected impact is improved volunteer programs, that i) better cater for the desired experiences of volunteers, and ii) ensure MW receives high value data.
Project lead: Stephanie Lavau. Project duration: 2023-24.
Project Summary

Irrigating the urban forest with stormwater

Street Trees

This project will help understand whether streetscapes can be designed to promote infiltration of stormwater and achieve the dual benefits of protecting urban streams and increasing canopy cover. The expected impact is better design and construction of passive irrigation systems, that result in improved performance and stormwater management outcomes.
Project lead: Chris Szota. Project duration: 2023-28.
Project Summary

Protecting Sunbury streams and headwaters from urbanisation

Sunbury & headwaters

This project will evaluate the waterway health benefits of the Sunbury IWM project; develop conceptual models of headwater stream ecosystem structure and function; and identify the key drivers and mechanisms of headwater stream degradation. The expected impact is clarification of the critical assumptions in the HWS MERI on the benefits of higher levels of stormwater treatment during/for urban development, which will Inform policy and standards for stormwater treatment in new urban developments.
Project lead: Moss Imberger. Project duration: 2023-26.
Project Summary

Monitoring riparian and instream vegetation condition, extent and benefits for environmental values

Vegetation Values

This project will assess changes in the condition and extent of remnant vegetation and revegetation; better understand factors that influence vegetation management outcomes; identify how key environmental values benefit from revegetated and remnant habitats; and improve our understanding of instream vegetation distribution and its correlation with environmental factors. The expected impact is improved monitoring and assessment of riparian and instream vegetation, that will lead to improved tracking of progress towards HWS vegetation targets.
Project lead: Sacha Jellinek. Project duration: 2023-28.
Project Summary

Developing methods, metrics and strategic management frameworksfor waterway function as a key environmental value

Waterway Functional Indicators

This project identify how best to monitor, report, and manage waterway function as an environmental value for the next Healthy Waterways Strategy. The expected impact is a greater understanding of the importance of both waterway function and structure and how functional indicator(s) relate to environmental conditions, other values, and management actions and methods.
Project lead: Ryan Burrows. Project duration: 2023-28.
Project Summary

Investigating the relationship between physical form and ecological health of waterways

Rhysical Form

This project help understand how channel morphology influences ecosystem structure and functioning, what aspects of physical form are most important and how they can be quantified or measured to inform the next Healthy Waterways Strategy. The expected impact is the adoption of new methods for measuring aspects of physical form, with revised metrics being adopted for the next HWS.
Project lead: Kathy Russell. Project duration: 2023-28.
Project Summary

Major sources and fate of sedimentsin streams, wetlands, estuaries and bays to inform management opportunities

Sediment Dynamics

This project help improve models of urban, peri-urban and rural sediment budgets and to inform plans and strategies to decrease sediment loads to receiving waters, with a focus on urban construction in the Westernport catchment. The expected impact an updated sediment budget and conceptual model, leading to more effective sediment control measures and sediment management planning.
Project lead: Kathy Russell. Project duration: 2023-25.
Project Summary