Our water sources

Information about catchments and dams

Our water sources

All water we use comes from the environment and flows through the natural water cycle. People in countries like Australia manage this using infrastructure ensure a safe and reliable water supply as well as the safe disposal of wastewater. Managing water in this way is known as the urban water cycle.

The urban water cycle takes water from many sources. The information below shares information on the water sources in our part of central Gippsland.



A catchment is an area of land which is usually surrounded by mountains or hills. Water flows and is collected by the natural landscape.

Water runs by gravity to the lowest point within a catchment. Water that falls and flows on top of the ground is known as surface water. If water soaks into the ground by infiltration, it collects in aquifers and becomes groundwater. Surface water and groundwater flow into waterways like creeks and rivers or can be stored in bodies like lakes, lagoons and wetlands. This freshwater eventually flows into the ocean where most of the Earth’s water is found.

The catchments in our area include Moondarra Reservoir, Merrimans Creek and the Boisdale Aquifer.

Learn more about our local catchments at West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority



A dam is a structure which has been built across a stream or river. Dams trap large amounts of water and can be used to store water, control flooding and generate electricity. Man-made dams create artificial lakes, called reservoirs.

The largest reservoir in our area is Moondarra Reservoir.