The Federal Government has announced a $76 million project to improve water quality in the ACT.

The Commonwealth will allocate the money to a series of projects in the Murrumbidgee river system, with another $8.5 million to be contributed by the ACT Government.

The rivers and lakes contain blue-green algae, and locals complain of foul smells as well.

Projects are set to target catchment areas upstream from Canberra’s three lakes - Lake Burley Griffin, Lake Tuggeranong and Lake Ginninderra.

ACT Liberal senator Zed Seselja said it would boost the quality of water before it reached Canberra’s lakes.

“Right across the board we're ensuring better water quality, ensuring that the health of our river system is maintained, but importantly locally, that our lakes - which are sometimes smelly and dirty - are significantly cleaned up,” Senator Seselja said.

“If there's one local environmental issue that I get most feedback on it's the quality of our lakes, there's no doubt about it.

“Whether you're a Tuggeranong resident, a Belconnen resident or whether you're accessing our biggest lake in Lake Burley Griffin, I hear constantly from constituents that they want this cleaned up and this money will ensure that that in fact occurs.”

The focus will be on six catchment areas in Lake Tuggeranong, Fyshwick, Yarralumla Creek, West Belconnen, Upper Molonglo and Lower Molonglo.

In addition, $6 million will be spent on public education, catchment works and water quality monitoring.