A healthy waterway provides essential services and functions to support environmental, social and economic outcomes, including more liveable cities and healthy, resilient communities.
This framework brings together existing principles and guidelines recommended in the National Water Quality Management Strategy, which the federal and all state and territory governments have adopted for managing water quality. It allows decision-makers to determine management responses that meet waterway health outcomes and reflect the community’s environmental values and uses of waterways.
Management responses could include specific development controls for stormwater management, informing license limits for waterway discharges, or programs that raise awareness of land use activities that protect and enhance the health of rivers and creeks. Where appropriate, management responses can be implemented through regional and local planning instruments, environmental regulation, integrated water cycle management plans, coastal management programs required under the Coastal Management Act 2016 or other catchment management plans for restoring and protecting the health of waterways.
The framework can support decision-making by authorities responsible for the management of land and waterways.