Safe Drinking Water Act

The Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 designates GMW as water storage manager because GMW provides raw (untreated) water to seven regional (urban) water corporations, known as w ater suppliers under the Act.  The raw water is supplied by GMW to water suppliers for treatment and supply to their customers in over 130 towns via approximately 80 offtake points across northern Victoria. GMW provides raw water to water suppliers in four different ways:

  1. From storages directly (via water supplier infrastructure) e.g. Nagambie from Goulburn Weir

  2. Via the outlet works of storages (GMW infrastructure) e.g. Bendigo from Lake Eppalock

  3. Indirectly from rivers supplied by storages e.g. Seymour from Goulburn River, supplied by Lake Eildon

  4. Via GMW’s channel system e.g. towns in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District

Managing risks to water quality

GMW has no obligation to provide water of a certain quality, however we do have an obligation to manage risks to water quality, from catchment to town offtake.  

GMW has had a risk management plan since 2005 and implementation and continual review of the plan has occurred since then. The plan has been developed and implemented with the involvement of a range of stakeholders including urban water corporations, the Department of Health and catchment management authorities.

There are a number of key programs implemented across GMW’s business to ensure that risks to water quality are appropriately managed. 

These include blue-green algae management, implementation of Land and On-Water Management Plans, incident response, water quality monitoring and maintenance and capital improvement of our assets. Notification to water suppliers if there is a potential water quality issue is a key aspect to managing risks to water quality.

Two examples of such works include:

  • Rock lining of irrigation channels and rock beaching of erosion areas at storages, and
  • Upgrades to public toilets at reserves adjacent our storages.
Cairn Curran Reservoir toilet facilities
New toilet facilities at Cairn Curran Reservoir
Rock lining along Central Goulburn No. 9 channel
Rock lining along Central Goulburn No. 9 channel


Roles and responsibilities of the community

In open water catchments it is important that everyone plays their part in managing risks to water quality.

For more information on the types of risks and what everyone can do to manage risks to water quality, refer to our Safe Drinking Water fact sheet, opens in a new window.

Annual reports and audits

Each year GMW submits a report to the Department of Health to satisfy the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 and demonstrate GMW's ongoing commitment to safe drinking water by addressing threats to raw water quality. 

Regulatory audits of GMW’s risk management plan and its implementation is also required.

Download the latest annual report, opens in a new window.

Copies of previous GMW’s Safe Drinking Water Act annual reports are available by contacting reception on 1800 013 357 or


Department of Health
Your local urban water corporation