Melbourne Waterway Research-Practice Partnership, Waterway Ecosystem Research Group, School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Burnley 3121, Victoria Australia

Version 1.1. 16 September 2020


The Melbourne Water Stream Network represents the flow paths and catchments of the streams and rivers of the Greater Melbourne Region (the region managed by Melbourne Water). The Network is a spatial dataset that :

Citation (for this report and for the use of any data downloaded from this site provides a direct interface to the data)

Kunapo, J., Walsh, C.J., Sammonds, M.J. (2020) The Melbourne Water Stream Network. Version 1.1. Melbourne Waterway Research-Practice Partnership Report 19.4a. School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne. URL:


This document describes the structure of the Melbourne Water Stream Network dataset and provides illustrations of how to extract data from the dataset. The data are available in several forms (Table 1), with the most flexible for data extraction being a relational postgreSQL spatial database that can be accessed through the software program R using a library of functions. Currently this can only be accessed through the University of Melbourne network. However, a web application provides a simple interface for extracting data from the database. All data can be accessed through the web application at

Version 1.1 improves on Version 1.0 in many ways that are detailed in Appendix 21.

Table 1. Melbourne Water stream network data components, structures and locations for access. The zip file containing shapefiles does not include the all-upstream and all-downstream arrays, nor the cats layer, all of which are too large to be included in this format.





ESRI shapefiles

Excel tables

Stream layer
Subcatchment layer
Stream Name table
MW asset table
Metadata table


Postgres spatial

Relational database with library
of R functions for data extraction
and manipulation

mwstr database
mwstr_functions.R (MW version proposed)

Web application

Shiny web application permitting
extraction from the database

downloadable shapefiles


This document in HTML, Word and Rmarkdown formats, the last containing source code
used in producing this document


The tables of the database and their relationships are illustrated in Fig. 1. Each of the tables is described below.

Fig. 1. Table relationship diagram for the mwstr database, showing all fields in each table and connections between tables. Those with a geometry field are spatial tables. The ‘coast’ table is a polyline spatial table for adding a coast line to any stream-line maps.