Waterwatch is a national citizen science program, involving landholders, community groups and schools, and aims to engage communities in monitoring and protecting the health of local waterways.
Small waterways make up three-quarters of the total waterway network within any given catchment and they are of great interest to local communities. NSW Waterwatch participants can take an active role in monitoring the health of their local catchments by conducting monthly water quality testing and optional seasonal surveys of aquatic macroinvertebrates, to understand and monitor the health of their rivers, and provide quality assured data, which is uploaded to the NSW Waterwatch online database. With the data they collect, communities can influence the management of their local waterways and take direct action.
NSW Waterwatch monitoring and data can:
- Provide historical information on how waterways have changed over time, and demonstrate natural fluctuations or highlight local issues (ongoing or emerging)
- Demonstrate whether activities to protect and restore waterways are having the desired effect – i.e. on-ground riparian or instream works have improved water quality and aquatic biodiversity.
- Contribute to catchment planning or reporting.