Helping to fill in the bigger picture
In the last few decades community concern about the health of our waterways has highlighted the need for more information about water quality. Blue green algae blooms in the late 1980s and major fish kills in our inland rivers and estuaries highlighted these problems.
Government departments, researchers, industry and others expanded water quality monitoring programs using a range of monitoring systems. But the data collected is still only a small part of the total picture.Information from Waterwatch's community monitoring programs helps to fill data gaps and get a picture of water quality across all parts of a catchment.
Community water quality monitoring programs began in Australian in the early 1990s. The introduction of Streamwatch in the Sydney region was closely followed by the National Waterwatch program in 1993.
Waterwatch groups are a major driving force for change in the way that society values and cares for its precious waterways.
Local information and investigations can lead to local solutions such as:
- fencing areas of riverbanks,
- eradicating weeds and invasive species,
- identifying pollution and reducing the effects of runoff,
- or even changes to licence conditions of polluting industry.
The information collected by Waterwatch groups has been an important guide to programs that improve the health of our waterways.
National and international coordination
Waterwatch Australia is based in Canberra and funded through the Federal Government Natural Heritage Trust. The national body co-ordinates activities across Australia to ensure consistent standards and support for Waterwatch. Most Australian states support Waterwatch. For more information visit the national Waterwatch website .
Ozgreen is a water quality focused environmental organisation with projects in NSW and internationally.
Visit the Ozgreen website for more information.