Working Wetlands Project (Royal Botanic Gardens)


On 21 September 2015, responsibility for water policy and resources was transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Administrative Arrangement Order made on 21 September 2015.

This website will be updated to reflect these changes.

About the project:

Project location: Melbourne, Victoria

Funding recipient: Royal Botanic Gardens Board

Total Australian Government funding: $1,980,000 (GST exclusive)

Water savings: up to 55 ML/yr

The project aims to reduce and eventually eliminate demand for potable water for irrigation in the Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG), Melbourne. Stormwater is diverted from adjacent streets and treated through constructed wetlands. The project will reduce demand for potable water used to irrigate the gardens by up to 55 megalitres per year (ML/yr), and maintain the ornamental lake, a central feature of the RBG Melbourne landscape.

Project benefits/objectives:

  • Use harvested stormwater to irrigate RBG Melbourne's landscapes and reduce the demand on potable water by 55 ML/yr
  • Reduce nutrients entering the lake system and the Yarra River
  • Improve water quality and amenity in the ornamental lake system, and
  • Install photovoltaic cells to provide a renewable energy source for the project.

Project progress

Construction of the project and the installation of photovoltaic cells to power the project were completed by June 2013.

Final report

Working Wetland Project Final Report (PDF - 1.55 MB) | (DOCX - 5.15 MB)



Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse projects are funded by National Urban Water and Desalination Plan.