Department of Health

Access to safe, good quality drinking water is fundamental to community and individual health and wellbeing.

Approximately 95 per cent of Victorians continue to receive the benefits of safe, good-quality drinking water (Department of Health and Human Services 2019).

Highlights reported in the Annual report on drinking water quality in Victoria 2017–18 include

  • performance against Victoria's safe drinking water regulatory framework remains strong
  • water fluoridation has been introduced to Cobram, Strathmerton and Yarroweyah
  • the Better Regulatory Practice Framework is increasing regulator efficiency and effectiveness, and bringing a systemic, risk-based approach to regulatory activities.

Managing risks

Managing risks to drinking water is a continuous, complex process. Challenges to safeguarding drinking water quality include:

  • threats to source water protection from climate change
  • recreational pressures and land use intensification
  • managing the issue of lead in some plumbing products.

In some parts of Victoria, algal bloom events are becoming more frequent and/or more intense – often linked to periods of reduced rainfall and warmer weather.

With climate change, the risk of algal bloom events increases and poses significant challenges to drinking water quality.

A concerted proactive catchment-to-tap risk management approach is required to ensure the ongoing provision of safe drinking water, now and for future generations.

Access the Climate change section of the Chief Health Officers report for more about climate change and its impacts on health.

Find out more

To find out more about drinking water in Victoria.


Department of Health and Human Services 2019, Annual report on drinking water quality in Victoria 2017–18: Delivering quality drinking water to Victorians, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne.

Reviewed 11 March 2023

Your health: Report of the Chief Health Officer, Victoria, 2018

Was this page helpful?