The Healthy Waterways Strategy (HWS) sets out the direction and approach for Melbourne Water’s role in protecting and improving waterways and waterway values in the Port Phillip and Westernport region. The strategy guides investment in waterway health, defines a vision for the region, identifies priority areas and management actions, and sets out targets to measure the effectiveness of these actions and a framework for delivering the strategy.

The development of the conceptual models in this project were an integral component of the development of the current version of the Melbourne Water Healthy Waterways Strategy.

The project captured and documented the inter-dependencies between the range of values within ecosystem types (rivers, estuaries, wetlands) and issues related to system and landscape connectivity.   A significant focus for this project was the identification and communication of the relative strengths of associations between condition indicators and key values.

The outputs of this work informed the assessment of waterway condition and trends in subsequent work for each of the 14 waterway systems defined in the current HWS.   Importantly the models were used to inform waterway managers of the most critical aspects of environmental/waterway condition to be considered for management action in order to support values.