Water quality monitoring

Lake, weir and reservoir water quality

The Major Storages Water Quality Monitoring Program commenced in 1992 and involves the monitoring of water quality in 15 of GMW’s major water storages.

The program has both short-term and long-term management objectives. 

For short term management, the program provides information on the current state of the storages to help identify any water quality issues and subsequent constraints to storage operation – particularly problems relating to blue-green algae

For long-term management, the program is developing a baseline dataset to permit trend analysis and a critical assessment of the relationship between storage volume, water quality and blue-green algae bloom development.

Specific objectives for the program are to:

  • Provide an overview of the current and historic water quality in GMW’s storages;
  • Examine water quality and assess compliance with guideline values recommended in the Victorian State Environment Protection Policy (SEPP) for Waters of Victoria (see Vic. Gov. 2003) and the National Water Quality Management Strategy (see ANZECC 2000);
  • Identify water quality status and trends so that future management practices have potential to improve water quality within the storages; and,
  • Examine blue-green algae, particularly the number of warnings; and identify trends so that management practices that have potential to limit the risk of blue-green algae warnings can be implemented.

Data for the program is accessible from the Water Quality section of GMW.

Waterways water quality

A large portion of rivers and streams in GMW’s region are monitored under the Victorian Water Quality Monitoring Network, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority monitoring program, the drainage and salinity monitoring programs and the Environment Protection Authority fixed site network.

Monitoring is conducted by a number of organisations and the flow and water quality parameters measured at each of the monitoring sites are regularly documented.  Monitoring and analysis of data trends over time is carried out as a way of identifying any issues within our waterways and drains.

For further information on the Victorian Water Quality Monitoring Network please visit DELWP'S Water Monitoring page.

The Index of Stream Condition is a state-wide assessment of river condition that been undertaken in Victoria since 1999.  It provides a snapshot of river health in Victorians major rivers and streams.

For further information on the Index of Stream Condition please visit the DELWP website and the Index of Condition system.

Irrigation drain water quality

Physico-chemical parameters such as nutrients, pH, turbidity and electrical conductivity are regularly monitored within major GMW surface drains. Analysis of trends over time is carried out to assess progress to reduce drain impacts.

Data for the irrigation drains monitoring program is accessible from the Water Quality section of GMW.

Groundwater water quality

The Victorian government has compiled a database of information in relation to groundwater levels and quality, using information obtained through bore construction, licensing and monitoring.  This information generally includes water level and salinity, however in some instances includes chemistry parameters if analysis has been carried out.

Further information regarding this database can be sought by contacting the Victorian government 136 186.

Data for the groundwater monitoring program is accessible from the Water Measurement Information System at http://data.water.vic.gov.au or contact the Groundwater & Streams section of GMW.