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.

 Gloucester River2

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.

All data can be found and uploaded to the NSW Waterwatch database at: https://biocollect.ala.org.au/nswwaterwatch

Local Waterwatch Contacts

There are varying levels of support for Waterwatch across the State through government and non-government agencies.
To register your interest and find out more about becoming a Waterwatch group or volunteer, please contact your local group:

Central Coast
(02) 4349 4757
Newcastle University - Ourimbah Campus
PO Box 149
Ourimbah NSW 2258
  Hunter Region (includes Lake Macquarie & Port Stephens)
Jane Lloyd-Jones jane.lloyd-jones@lls.nsw.gov.au
(02) 4930 1030
Private Bag 2010, Paterson 2421
816 Tocal Road
Manning-Great Lakes-Gloucester
Kirsty Hughes Kirsty.Hughes@midcoastwater.com.au
(02) 6592 4830
PO Box 671 Taree 2430
26 Muldoon Street, Taree NSW 2430
  Sydney Metropolitan & Basin
Greater Sydney Landcare Network
(02) 4724 2147
NSW Waterwatch - other regions.
If you don't have a contact locally, for support please email or call
Samantha - 0402 223 373 or 4349 4757, or
Ingrid - 0405 761 593
  NSW Waterwatch Database
NSW Waterwatch data from schools and community volunteers is uploaded and stored to a centralised database on the Atlas of Living Australia. All data is verified by a Waterwatch Coordinator or officer, and can be downloaded via spreadsheets or shape files.

Waterwatch support

  • NSW Waterwatch is supported through a range of partnerships through local, regional and state government agencies and non-government organisations. These partnerships enhance the involvement of local people in monitoring local projects and activities that may directly or indirectly, impact on water quality and catchment health. However, levels of support for NSW Waterwatch do vary across NSW.

  • 'Streamwatch is included in the NSW Waterwatch and delivered by the Australian Museum for the Sydney metropolitan & basin areas.'

  • Links with the scientific community ensure that the methods used by Waterwatch participants are suitable, accurate and reliable.

  • NSW Waterwatch representatives are part of the national Waterwatch Australia Network. This network promotes the sharing of tools and resources to enhance community involvement in Waterwatch as a citizen science program. Each Australian State supports Waterwatch slightly differently.