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Acts, Regulations and Policies

Southern Rural Water has a number of acts, regulations and policies that may be of interest to the public.

Water Act 1989

Water Act

The Water Act 1989 (Vic) provides the legal framework for managing Victoria’s water resources. It is available online at the Victorian Law Today Library.

Water Act 1989

The main purpose of the Water Act is to:

  • promote the equitable and efficient use of our water resources
  • make sure our water resources are conserved and properly managed for the benefit of all Victorians
  • increase community involvement in conserving and managing our water resources
Health & Safety Policy

The health, safety and welfare of our staff, contractors, visitors and community is our top priority. We will provide a safe and healthy working environment.

We maintain effective safety systems, and continually review the way we work to find and apply safer practices. All incidents can be prevented, and we aim for an incident free and zero harm workplace.

We will meet our legislative responsibilities and achieve good industry practice.

We work together to understand our risks and:

  • Eliminate them where possible, or
  • reduce them through management actions.

Each of us is responsible for safety.

Health and Safety Policy

Bulk Entitlement Orders
A Bulk Entitlement Order is the set of operating rules that exists for all reservoirs.

At Southern Rural Water (SRW) we deal with the following Bulk Entitlement Orders:

  • Latrobe
  • Maribyrnong
  • Tarago
  • Yallourn Energy
  • Werribee
  • Thomson/Macalister

Because more than one organisation or group can have shares (or entitlement) in the water being held in a reservoir, each shareholder must follow rules about:

  • The maximum volumes that can be taken from the reservoir, system or waterway.
  • Costs of managing the system, and how they are shared.

At a number of reservoirs, SRW acts as the storage manager on behalf of all shareholders.

As a storage manager, we:

    • Allocate water (both increases and decreases) according to the % shares held by shareholders.
    • Ensure that we meet the rules about passing continuous flows downstream for environmental purposes.
    • Release water to meet a shareholder’s request.

Passing flows are a vital part of our Bulk Entitlement Orders and are met before allocations.


The Act states that we have the power to make by-laws - special rules published in the Government Gazette  which apply within a specific area of Southern Rural Water's responsibility.

Since the Water Act came into operation, we have made two by-laws:

No.7 - Irrigation Period, 2011
No.9 - Recreational Areas

Statement of Obligations

This statement sets out a broad range of obligations and guiding principles applicable to all water corporations. It revokes and replaces all previous statements of obligations made and issued to a water corporation under s. 4I of the Water Industry Act 1994, with the exception of the Statement of Obligations (System Management) issued by the Minister for Water on 16 January 2015.

Statement of Obligations

Statement of Obligations Emission Reduction

Customer Charter

Southern Rural Water has adopted the National Cabinet agreed principles for hardship support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Customer Charter summary 2018

SRW Customer Charter 2018

Southern Rural Water acknowledges and recognises Aboriginal people as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and waters on which we work and live, and we respect their deep and ongoing connection to Country. For more about the First Nations peoples on whose Country we work, click here.