The Werribee River is a valuable natural asset in Melbourne's west and this is reflected in the increased community care for it.
Originating in the Wombat State Forrest on the Great Dividing Range, the Werribee River flows for about 110 kilometres south-east via Ballan, Bacchus Marsh and Werribee to the north-western shores of Port Phillip Bay.
The Werribee Catchment, covering an area of approximately 2700 square kilometres, is the driest south of the Great Dividing Range in Victoria. This is because it lies in the rain shadow of the Otway ranges, and is mainly sourced by ephemeral streams. Rainfall varies from about 1000mm per year to as low as 450mm in the southern plains.
Melbourne Water provides more information about the Werribee Catchment, its flora and fauna and the health of the river.
The catchment includes all rivers and creeks to the west of the Maribyrnong River through to Little River, such as the Werribee and Lerderderg rivers, and Kororoit and Skeleton creeks.
Many of the major rivers and creeks flow through coastal wetlands listed under the international Ramsar convention, including Melbourne Water's Western Treatment Plant, Point Cook Marine Sanctuary, Avalon Airport and the Spit Wildlife Reserve.
A feature of the catchment is the presence of several remnant grasslands that are of national or state significance for their flora values, such as the Derrimut Grasslands, William Angliss and the Altona Native Grass reserves.
There are many community groups involved in Healthy Waterways Waterwatch in the Werribee Catchment.
The Werribee River Association has a website with much useful information about the Werribee River.
An extensive network of hard surface bike and walking trails provides opportunity to explore the Werribee River. Bicycle Victoria provides more information on the Werribee River Trail.
LeadWest is currently managing a project that aims to provide a long-term plan for the Werribee River as a regional biolink.