Environmental issues

Water quality

Audit of the Sydney drinking water catchment 2003

image: cover

About this publication

The full report is also available as pdf: sydneycatchment_audit.pdf (1808 kb, requires Acrobat Reader).

The 2003 audit of the Sydney drinking water catchment is the third independent audit report of this catchment. Like the two previous bi-annual reports (prepared by the CSIRO in 1999 and 2001), this report has been prepared in accordance with Sydney Water Catchment Management Act 1998 (s.42).

The 16,000 km2 catchment supplies drinking water for more than 4 million people in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra (catchment map Subcatchments.jpg).
The report provides a valuable benchmark for the government, private sector and the community who share common interests in the supply of raw drinking water and the health of the catchment, enabling stakeholders to identify areas that need to be targeted for additional action.

The audit process (Chapter 1: Introduction.pdf 83 kb) involved consultations on information and data to assist the audit process in assessing state of the catchment.

The 2003 audit report is structured around four major themes:

  • Minimising contamination of raw water supply (chapter2.pdf 273 kb)
  • Managing water resources (chapter3.pdf 302 kb)
  • Protecting and improving land condition (chapter4.pdf 356 kb)
  • Maintaining and enhancing ecosystem health (chapter5.pdf 453 kb).

An important feature of the report is the use of a core set of 16 environmental indicators that have each been applied to one of the four major themes to provide a valuable baseline for future audits. 

Audit results have been summarised in the Main Findings (mainfindings.pdf 53 kb). Also reported here are trends since the last audit, where this information was available.

A list of Recommendations (recommendations.pdf 26 kb) has been compiled to assist stakeholders to improve both the collection and analysis of information for use in future audits.

Audit of Sydney Drinking Water Catchment: Report to the Minister for the Environment, NSW State Government (December 2003)


Main findings (mainfindings.pdf 53 kb)

Recommendations (recommendations.pdf 26 kb)

Chapter 1: Introduction (introduction.pdf 83 kb)

Chapter 2: Minimising Contamination of Raw Water Supply (chapter2.pdf 273 kb)

Chapter 3: Managing Water Resources (chapter3.pdf 302 kb)

 Chapter 4: Protecting and Improving Land Condition (chapter4.pdf 356 kb)

Chapter 5: Maintaining and Enhancing Ecosystem Health (chapter5.pdf 453 kb)

References (references.pdf 17 kb)

Acronyms (acronyms.pdf 11 kb)

Appendix A: Criteria for identifying a sub-catchment as being under pressure (appendixA.pdf 16 kb)

Appendix B: Source documents (appendixB.pdf 22 kb)

Appendix C: SCA Data Quality Assurance and Quality Control Processes (appendixC.pdf 14 kb)

Appendix D: List of stakeholders (appendixD.pdf 11 kb)

Appendix E: Individuals and organisations who provided a submission to the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment (appendixE.pdf 11 kb)

Appendix F: Roles and responsibilities of stakeholders (appendixF.pdf 25 kb)

Appendix G: Data summaries (appendixG.pdf 121 kb)

Page last updated: 22 March 2012