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Our mission

Improve the environmental health of rivers, wetlands and floodplains by managing Victoria's environmental water holdings and cooperating with partners and communities. We

  • make decisions on the most effective use of the water holdings, including use, carryover and trade
  • liaise with other water holders to ensure coordinated use of all sources of environmental water
  • authorise waterway managers to implement watering decisions
  • work with storage managers to coordinate and maximise environmental outcomes from the delivery of all water
  • commission targeted projects to demonstrate ecological outcomes of environmental watering at key sites and to improve environmental management
  • publicly communicate environmental watering decisions and outcomes
  • support and add value to communication and engagement activities undertaken by our program partners.

We do this by preparing a seasonal watering plan each financial year. This scopes where, when, how and why environmental water can  be used across Victoria's rivers, wetlands and floodplains.

See our annual report [PDF File - 1.8 MB] for details of the Victorian Environmental Water Holder's activities and financial performance. You can also read our corporate plan [PDF File - 677.0 KB].

Reflections [PDF File - 4.7 MB] is published each year and explains the achievements of environmental watering across Victoria.


The Victorian Environmental Water Holder is comprised of a small team including an executive officer, planning and delivery, administration and communications staff.

It has four part-time Commissioners appointed by Governor in Council, upon recommendation of the Minister for Water.

Learn more about our Commissioners below:

VEWH Commissioners - Chris Chesterfield, Peta Maddy, Jennifer Fraser and Rueben Berg

Chris Chesterfield (Chairperson)

Chris has spent more than 25 years in the Victorian water industry, primarily in waterway management.

He has extensive experience in sustainable water resource and environmental water management as well as solid business management experience as General Manager Waterways Group at Melbourne Water. Chris is currently also Director, Strategic Engagement at the Cooperative Research Centre  for Water Sensitive Cities. He is Chair of the Yarra River Protection Ministerial Advisory Committee.

Chris Chesterfield
Chris Chesterfield

Peta Maddy (Deputy Chairperson)

Denis has extensive experience in the Australian water sector, in water engineering, management, leadership, governance and consulting.

He is foundation chief executive of Goulburn-Murray Water and a Victorian Commissioner on the former Murray-Darling Basin Commission. Denis has significant knowledge of Victorian river systems, particularly in northern Victoria.

Peta Maddy

Rueben Berg (Commissioner)

Rueben is a Gunditjmara man and the founder and Managing Director of RJHB Consulting.

He is also a founder and director of Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria. Rueben is a member on various boards including Westernport Water, National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Indigenous Advisory Board, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute Advisory Board, and the Monash University Indigenous Advisory Council. He is also a founder and director of the Indigenous Ultimate Association and the Chair of the Ultimate Rules Sub-committee for the World Flying Disc Federation. He has a Bachelor of Architecture.

Rueben Berg
Rueben Berg

Jennifer Fraser (Commissioner)

Geoff has a strong management background in natural resources, public administration, community and organisational development.

He is currently a Director of the Gippsland Ports Board and a Director of the Gunai-Kurnai Traditional Owner Land Management Board. He was previously Chief Executive Officer of the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, where he developed significant knowledge of river systems in southern Victoria.

Geoff has held senior managerial positions at Gippsland Water, Latrobe Shire Council and the Australian Securities Commission.

Jennifer Fraser