Managing Stormwater to Protect Victoria’s Waterways and Bays

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  • Webinar


Stormwater can be a risk to human health and the environment. It’s important to understand these risks, how they arise and how they can be eliminated or reduced.  As a regulator, EPA sets standards for stormwater management and works with industry to meet those standards. These standards are now under review with a proposal to include flow volumes. This reflects the improved scientific understanding of the importance of flows in reducing stormwater impacts.

Associate Prof Chris Walsh, Prof Tim Fletcher and Dr Stephanie Lavau will discuss the challenges and opportunities for urban stormwater management in Victoria, outline their approaches to stormwater management targets, and highlight innovative technologies being used to protect rivers and streams and supplement and sustain water supplies.

Importantly, they will highlight the opportunities for community engagement in the management of stormwater, and the new roles and partnerships that will be required across public and private spheres.
The format of the event will be a panel discussion, followed by live Q&A with the audience.

Closed captions will be available and a link will be shared prior to the event and during the live event to view them.


Associate Professor Chris Walsh, Principal Research Fellow, School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, University of Melbourne. Chris Walsh has been working and writing on the effects of land use (particularly urbanisation) on the ecology of streams for 25 years. Together with Professor Tim Fletcher, Chris leads the Waterway Ecosystem Research Group and is a senior member of the Melbourne Waterway Research Practice Partnership with Melbourne Water. Both groups aim to optimise urban (and other) land and water management for the protection and restoration of running waters. Current projects include a world-first experiment in restoring the ecological health of a stream through catchment-scale retrofit of urban stormwater drainage. This project, and Chris’ research more broadly, have led to many high impact publications that have recast the problem of urban stormwater runoff, influencing reforms to urban water management internationally.

Dr Stephanie Lavau, Senior Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Environmental Practice, University of Melbourne
Stephanie Lavau is a Senior Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Environmental Practice at the University of Melbourne. Her socio-cultural research focuses on environmental management, knowledge and governance, particularly in relation to urban water. Stephanie leads research on community engagement in waterways management for the Melbourne Waterways Research Practice Partnership, a collaboration between the University of Melbourne and Melbourne Water.

Professor Tim Fletcher, Professor of Urban Ecohydrology, University of Melbourne
Tim Fletcher is a Professor of Urban Ecohydrology at the University of Melbourne.  He is internationally regarded for his expertise in waterway and stormwater management. His research focus includes urban hydrology, stormwater quality and the design and performance of stormwater treatment and harvesting systems.  Tim co-leads the Melbourne Waterway Research Practice Partnership at the University of Melbourne.  He is an author of the industry-standard Model for Urban Stormwater Improvement Conceptualisation (MUSIC) and in 2011 received a prestigious Australian Research Council Future Fellowship.  Tim is a former Invited Professor at INSA Lyon (2008-9) and is co-chair of the Novatech Conference, one of the leading international conferences on integrated urban water management.

Dr Leon Metzeling, Senior Applied Scientist - Freshwater, Environment Protection Authority Victoria
Leon is a senior scientist at EPA Victoria specializing in inland waters and has been with EPA for over 30 years. He was part of the 2013/14 review of the stormwater BPEM, has dealt with many impacts from stormwater in his time at EPA and continues to be involved in research on stormwater impacts. He has been Victoria’s representative on the team managing the review of the National Water Quality Guidelines. He had a lead role in the science input to the new SEPP (Waters), which was gazetted in October 2018 and is involved in the development of the new legislative instruments which will replace the SEPP once the new EP Act comes into force in 2021. He has over 40 publications in the peer review literature focusing mainly on freshwater ecology and bioassessment but has recently focused on the impact of emerging contaminants on aquatic systems and human health.

This event is part of the EPA Environmental Science Series, exploring topics that affect everyday Victorians.