Header: Living Water Workbees, Wadawurrung Walk along the Werribee

Living Water Workbees

The EcoCentre and Werribee River Association (WRiVA) partnered in the Living Water Workbees Project from 2017-2020 to activate community volunteering and stormwater infrastructure in the Elster Creek and Werribee River catchments. We worked with local community action groups and schools to clean-up waterways and install water tanks and rain gardens to improve environmental flow and create habitat for healthy waterways.

Key Concepts

We converted volunteer hours into $25/hr rebate credits that can be redeemed for the installation of rainwater tanks and rain gardens at local schools, homes and businesses. Schools and home owners committed to install rainwater tanks or rain gardens, took action to care for catchment, and earned rebate credits towards their stormwater infrastructure, which will provide perpetual positive impacts on our waterways. Each school was eligible for up to $20,000 and homes and businesses $5,000 in rebates for installation of multi-use tanks to flush toilets, irrigate gardens and enhance biodiversity with rain gardens.

Teachers and parent volunteers incorporated catchment care into curriculum activities and organised whole school workbees to foster stewardship for waterways; and volunteers at community workbees donated credits to local schools to help them achieve their rebate goals.

Our Achievements

  • 12 workbee partners, 8,600 volunteers, 13,500 hours of catchment care 
  • 13 tonnes of litter removed, 20,500 plants installed
  • $121,000 rebates distributed to 10 sites (9 schools, 1 resident)
  • 2.6 million liters of annual water diversion capacity achieved

Rain tank and rain garden sites

Carranballac College, Caulfield Primary School,  Elwood College, Gardenvale Primary School, St Columba's Primary School Elsternwick, St Joseph's Elsternwick Primary School, St Kevin's Primary School Ormond, Wyndham Central College, and a resident in St Kilda.

Workbee Partners

Love Our Street (3184, 3185, 3186, 3162, 3030), Beach Patrol (3182, 3183, 3030), Elwood Plogging Group, Friends of Elster Creek, Earthcare St Kilda, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots.
A huge thank you to our partners who tirelessly care for our local streets and waterways!


  • Finalist: Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2020
  • Finalist: Keep Victoria Beautiful Sustainable Cities Awards 2020

Port Phillip EcoCentre (PPEC) and Werribee Riverkeeper Association (WRivA) designed this project to extend a proven model for integrated catchment management, based on the strengths of our independently-evaluated 'Well Waters Workbees: Elster Creek Pilot' that made award-winning impacts over 15 months (2015-2016).

This project was funded by the Victorian Government from 2017-2020 through the Port Phillip Bay Fund.

Boon Wurrung Foundation Logo The EcoCentre acknowledges the Kulin Nations, including the Yalukut Weelam clan of the Boon Wurrung language group, traditional owners of the land on which we are located. We pay respects to their Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Elder members of our multicultural community.