Water is essential to life. We all use it and all impact on its quality and quantity.
Human use of Victoria’s land and water resources has affected the health of our water environments to an extent that threatens the very features that make them so attractive and valuable.
While some of our water environments are in largely natural condition, others are becoming saltier or have higher than natural silt and nutrient levels. Algal blooms and pest plants and animals are common indicators of human impacts on water. Treatment is costly and will increase as water becomes scarcer.
Coupled with this are deteriorating and eroding catchments where soil is lost, biodiversity is in decline and farmland is becoming unusable because of high salt levels. The consequences of these deteriorating environments are imminent, serious and costly.
Pollutants enter the water environment from two main classes of inputs – point sources and non-point sources.
The most serious threats include:
- alteration of natural flows
- clearing of vegetation
- loss of habitat
- increasing salinity
- excess nutrients
- pollution by oil, heavy metals and other chemicals
- stormwater pollution
- infestation by pests
EPA works with other organisations and the community to ensure that our water environments are protected from these threats.