Management of aquatic weeds is often handled primarily at the local level. However, both water and water weeds do not recognise political boundaries even when these coincide with rivers or catchment areas. Thus potentially effective management of a weed in one area may be undermined by absence of a complementary program of management in an adjacent area. Authorities in each of the eight States or Territories that make up Australia are separately responsible for managing water weeds in their own State or Territory. Originally there was little coordination of these programs, but during the 1980s a national strategy for control of Australian water weeds has been progressively devised and put into practice. This stresses prevention and includes policies on plant importation, nomination of noxious weeds, development of a research strategy, a public awareness campaign, guidelines on the use of herbicides in or near water, and a field guide. This strategy is currently being incorporated into a National Weeds Strategy.