Explore Your Backyard is an online festival celebrating and nurturing the connection to Country and water during National Water Week, 18-24 October 2021.

You are invited to join our live webinars, on-demand workshops and accss resouces designed to get you outside, using water efficiently in the garden and improving neighbourhood biodiversity.

Put your gardening gloves on, fill up that watering can, and Explore Your Backyard during National Water Week! 


Activities and Events

Event Overview

More information and links to come! To keep up with the action and up-coming events follow the Explore Your Backyard Facebook page. 

Explore your Backyard Photo Comp

Our amazing photo competition winners have been choosen! 

Thank you to all who submitted a photo of how you save water in your backyard.

Click here to view the winning entries.


Sunday 17 October at 4 pm

Don't miss the Explore Your Backyard online festival special guest, Costa the Garden Gnome!

What will happen when Costa the Garden Gnome and Coliban Water's Managing Director, Damien Wells, sit down for a Sunday afternoon chat? They'll discuss gardening and water, of course!

Plus, they will be launching our fantastic online festival for National Water Week.

More details

Wednesday 20 October at 12.30 pm

Bee and Butterfly Encounter

Join Sam from Labcoat Learning for an up-close look at bees and butterflies! Learn why bees and butterflies are great for our gardens. Plus, find out about the importance of water for invertebrates and how you can help.

View on Facebook or YouTube.

Superb Wren
Superb Fairy-wren © Ian Wilson 2014

Thursday 21 October at 12.30 pm


*This event requires bookings.

Join Dr Holly Parsons from Birdlife Australia, and explore the wonderful world of birds. Holly is the Urban Bird Program Manager and will share tips on how to identify the birds that visit your backyard or nearby parkland. Holly also has useful ideas to help you provide habitat and resources for our feathered friends.


On demand videos and resources

Rodney Carter and Rueben Berg on Cultural Values in Waterways

Filmed at VicWater's 2021 conference, Rodney Carter and Rueben Berg speak about First Nation's cultural values in waterways. Rodney is a descendant of Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta people and Ruben is a proud Gunditjmara man from Melbourne. They offer suggestions that not only work to preserve our waterways but provide a broader perspective on how we can all keep working towards reconciliation. Secondary & adult

Creation of a Scar Tree

Join Wadawurrung Traditional Owners and Central Highland Water staff to see how a modern scar tree is created. (3 min video, on demand) Secondary & adult

School and pre-school aged children will love these animated experiment videos with Wally the Water Scientist. Created by Goulburn Valley Water, each experiment is supported with a worksheet. Primary & kindergarten with adult support.

Wally & The Water Cycle
Learn about the water cycle and how to make your own in a bag. worksheet

Wally & Rain Gauges
Learn what a rain gauge is and how to make your own. worksheet

Wally & Walking Water
Learn how water moves and discover primary/secondary colours. worksheet

Wally & The State of Water
Did you know that water behaves differently when its temperature changes? worksheet

Mulching your garden can save up to 70% of water from evaporating. Find out about different mulches and help your garden thrive in this 4-minute video from North East Water. Primary, secondary, adults

Outdoor water use accounts for 25-50% of the average home’s water consumption. Gardens are an area where huge amounts of water are wasted. Visit Smart Approved WaterMark’s website to read about ways you can save water. Secondary & adult

Nature study & nature play activity matrix

Build greater awareness, appreciation and understanding of the natural world! The matrix combines Bloom's Taxonomy and Multiple Intelligences to provide students with tasks that are accessible and appealing. Primary & kindergarten with adult support.

The ins and outs of a bug hotel
Explore the benefits of insects in helping to pollinate plants, and learn how to make a bug hotel to encourage more insects into your garden. Barwon Water shows you how. Primary with adult help, all ages.

How to plant native grasses and shrubs
Learn how to select and plant native and indigenous plants in your garden to improve the biodiversity of insects and native fauna that visit your patch. Primary.

Upcycle a jar into a rain gauge
A perfect rainy-day activity from East Gippsland Water. Make a rain gauge from a jar and measure how much rain you collect.

Providing Water for Wildlife
Healesville Sanctuary Vet Kath will show you the best way to leave water out for local wildlife during the summer months. More tips on helping wildlife in summer. Primary, all ages.

Water Wise Chatterbox
Download and print this origami chatterbox to help teach children about the importance of using water wisely! Primary

Going Green when we Clean
Discover some simple recipes for cleaning products to use around the home. Many store-bought cleaners contain harsh chemicals, you'll also discover some of the impacts that these chemicals can have on the environment. Recipes available. All ages, children with adult help.

Willow control in our waterways 
Find out the benefits in removing willows from our waterways. Secondary and adult.

Growing indigenous plants around waterways and on cleared farmland improves raw water quality. Find out more in this short video made by Bass Coast Landcare Network & Westernport Water. Secondary and adult.

  Explore Your Backyard Logos 1920 x 300 Bree

Invitation to be part of our Irrigation Diverters Committee 

Submit your Surface Water Irrigation Report - Avoca River System

Adobe PDF file icon 24x24 Surface Water Irrigators Newsletter

Adobe PDF file icon 24x24 Draft Committee Terms of Reference for Irrigation Diverters Committee

Adobe PDF file icon 24x24 Latest Minutes of Meeting for the Irrigation Diverters Committee

Your invitation to be part of our Irrigation Diverters Committee

Become involved to help enhance engagement with our irrigation diversion customers. Simply complete and return our expression of interest form to join our Irrigation Diverters Committee.

Licence holders from the Wimmera River, Avoca River, Glenelg River (upstream of Mooree), Richardson River and Avon River Systems are eligible to apply.

The role of the Irrigation Diverters Committee includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Providing advice and feedback to inform decisions made by GWMWater.
  2. Acting as a barometer of irrigation diversion customer perceptions and expectations in relation to licensing, water resource management arrangements and water policy developments.
  3. Providing a forum to raise and discuss issues affecting or relevant to irrigation diverters.
  4. Providing a conduit for communication between GWMWater and the broader community regarding irrigation diversion matters.
  5. Guiding the development of communication information for irrigation diversion customers, as appropriate.

Irrigation Diverters Committee members are required to attend one meeting per year, to discuss catchment conditions, diversion opportunities, recent extraction activities, water policy changes and other relevant matters raised by members of the Committee or irrigation licence holders.

Click here to express your interest in becoming a member of the Irrigation Diverters Committee

Please make sure that we receive your expression of interest by 19 June 2020.

If you would like further information or wish to discuss your potential expression of interest to join our Irrigation Diverters Committee, please contact us.


Surface Water Irrigation Report - Avoca River System licence holders only

To comply with the requirements of your licence, this information must be submitted no later than 17 June 2020.

If you hold a licence to take water from the Avoca River system and have extracted water for irrigation use in the last 12 months, you are required to complete a Surface Water Irrigation Report. Completing this report won’t take long.

We also ask that you provide a rough map showing where you have irrigated, including any diversion channels and local landmarks.

Handy tip ...

We welcome you to use tools such as Google Maps to complete this section, and suggest that you save this map first before completing your details.

Click here to complete the Surface Water Irrigation Report alternatively, download the PDF and return to GWMWater.


The Urban and Rural Water Strategy outlines how we will manage water to provide secure and affordable water services in our towns and cities now and into the future. Urban Water Strategies have a long-term outlook of 50 years and considers the total water cycle.

As GWMWater has both urban and rural responsibilities, the strategy considers both urban and rural pipeline supplied customers in each of our five water supply systems - Murray, Goulburn, Grampians, Pyrenees and Eastern Grampians and groundwater towns.

It takes account factor such as population change, climate change, variability and other risks.

We are currently in the process of developing our 2022-2027 strategy. GWMWater will actively engage with stakeholders on key issues to inform the development of the strategy. The Strategy is due for submission to the Minister for Water in March 2022.

Adobe PDF file icon 24x24 Urban and Rural Water Supply Strategy (429 kB)

The strategy meets requirement 6-A of the Statement of Obligations (General) issued to all water corporations and has been produced in accordance with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Urban Water Strategy Development Guidelines.


Supporting information...

Western Region Sustainable Water Strategy

The Western Region Sustainable Water Strategy maps out our region's water resources and the challenges and opportunities facing water users over the next 50 years.

Annual Water Outlook

Our Annual Water Outlook is released in December each year. It builds on our Urban and Rural Water Strategy to provide information about water security for our towns and rural users for the year ahead.

We have actively worked towards delivering services that our customers told us they most valued and expected with their water and sewerage services.

1. Safe and Clean Water

2. Reliable and Affordable Services

3. Healthy and a Liveable Region

To find out more see Adobe PDF file icon 24x24Our Performance 2020/2021 based on our pricing submission to the Essential Services Commission. 

For more information refer to our Corporate Plan and Water Price Submission


Previous report...

Adobe PDF file icon 24x24Our Performance 2019/2020

Adobe PDF file icon 24x24Our Performance 2018/19


All offers of gifts (above exceptions excluded) will be published here, whether the gift was accepted or not.  Feel free to contact us if you'd like to obtain information from our Gift Register prior to 1 July 2016.

Gift Register since 1 July 2016

 Item No Date Gift Offered  Offeror  Description of Gift Offered  Cultural, Historic or
Other Significance
Estimated Value   Gift Accepted /
How Accepted Gift Was Used
1 19/07/2016 Technology Provider AFL Corporate Box No $200 Declined NA
2 03/08/2016 Engineering Firm Networking Drinks No $30 Accepted NA
3 12/08/2016 Engineering Consultants Networking Drinks No $100 Declined NA
4 19/09/2016 Technology Provider Conference No $3000 Declined NA
5 20/09/2016 Technology Provider AFL Grand Final No $400 Declined NA
6 05/10/2016 Registered Aboriginal Party Thank You Gift No $120 Accepted Transferred to Corporation
7 14/10/2016 Underground Services Agency Tickets to Horse Races No $1250 Declined NA
8 26/10/2016 Debt Collectors Tickets to Horse Races No $600 Declined NA
9 12/12/2016 Technology Provider Dinner and Drinks No $60 Accepted NA
10 14/12/2016 Engineering Consultants Meal and Drinks No $60 Accepted NA
11 20/12/2016 Communications Consultants Wine No $25 Accepted NA
12 21/12/2016 OHS Consultant Christmas Hamper No $20 Accepted NA
13 21/12/2016 Valuers Christmas Hamper No $40 Accepted NA
14 22/12/2016 Communications Consultants Wine No $20 Accepted NA
15 11/01/2017 Telco Tickets To Tennis No $260 Accepted NA
16 06/03/2017 Cleaning Company Cleaning Products No $25 Accepted NA
17 20/03/2017 Engineering Contractors Dinner Drinks No $150 Declined NA
18 26/04/2017 Engineering Contractors Dinner Drinks No $85 Declined NA
19  04/05/2017 Engineering Contractors Dinner Drinks  No $85 Declined NA
20 04/05/2017 Technology Provider Conference No $250 Declined NA
21  23/05/2017 Magazine Publisher Wine No  $25 Declined  Transferred to Corporation
22 25/09/2017 Motor Vehicle Company Portrait Voucher No $750 Declined N/A
23 24/11/2017 IT Conference Door Prize PS3 No $350 Declined N/A
24  02/02/2018 Technology Provider Executive Dinner - Celebrating 30 Years No  $150  Declined  N/A
25 20/03/2018 Water Utility Service Provider Networking Dinner No $80 Declined N/A
26 03/04/2018 Water Network Association President's Dinner No $100 Accepted N/A
27 04/04/2018 Victorian State Government Department Cocktail Function No $50 Accepted N/A
28 12/06/2018 Landowner/Customer Powerball Ticket Draw 1152 No $30 Declined N/A
29 20/08/2018 Peak Body Water Sector Networking Dinner No $100 Accepted N/A
30 02/10/2018 Regional Development Awards Ceremony No $85 Accepted N/A
31 17/11/2018 A&P Society A&P Show Entry Tickets No $20 Accepted Not used
32 21/12/2018 Construction Company Christmas Gift No $40 Accepted Transferred to Corporate
33 13/02/2019 Water Utility Company Dinner No $100 Declined N/A
34 24/04/2019 Telco Dinner No $50 Accepted N/A
35 29/04/2019 Water Utility Company Function No $100 Declined N/A
36 30/04/2019 Leadership Consultant Community Breakfast No $25 Accepted N/A
37 13/05/2019 Consultant Luncheon No $30 Declined N/A
38 14/05/2019 Water Sector Award No $30 Declined N/A
39 20/05/2019 Company Event and Dinner No $100 Accepted N/A


To view current Gifts and Hospitality Register, click here

For more information, see our Gifts Hospitality and Benefits Policy.