Healthy Waterways resources for community - Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate - Environment

Healthy Waterways resources for community

The ACT boasts some dazzling lakes, rivers and wetlands. You are never too far away from enjoying a leisurely stroll, a barbeque or some fishing along a beautiful shoreline. However, whether you’re interested in spending time in the water or alongside it, recreation along our waterways relies on clean and healthy water catchments.

Understanding stormwater

Keeping catchments clean starts with stormwater. Stormwater is any water that drains away from hard surfaces such as roads, roofs, driveways and footpaths. Instead of soaking into the soil, stormwater picks up harmful pollutants and flows directly into our precious waterways.

Types of pollution

Excessive amounts of organic materials (e.g., leaves, grass clippings, soil and animal droppings) and chemicals (e.g., fertiliser, pesticides, car fluids) can cause toxic blue-green algal blooms and growth of problematic plants. Not only does this put our aquatic wildlife at risk, but they are also the primary reason for lake closures in the ACT.

How households are reducing water pollution

Everyone has a role to play in protecting our lakes and waterways. Join the Canberra community in reducing water pollution with these top tips.

Home and garden

What you can do around your home to protect our waterways.

Business and industry

Tips for businesses to help protect our waterways.


Learn about protecting our waterways with activities, videos and more.