WaterWatch

Environmental issues

Water

About Waterwatch

Flaggy Creek, Whitebridge, NSW

Our vision

Current and future generations empowered and actively involved in the sustainable use and management of catchments.

Our mission

To provide high quality, locally relevant, resources and support to communities to foster lifelong learning about waterways, catchments and sustainable living, and to facilitate meaningful engagement and active participation in natural resource planning and on-ground work programs.


Ellalong Lagoon is a large wetland in the upper reaches of the Wollombi Brook Catchment. Wetlands provide essential ecosystem services in catchments and habitat for a wide range of organisms.
Photo: Ingrid Berthold

The role of Waterwatch

Small waterways make up three-quarters of the total waterway network within any given catchment and they are of great interest to local communities. Through schools, community volunteers, groups and land managers such as farmers,  they  learn about the health of their rivers and identify problems. With the data they collect communities can influence agencies and authorities in the management of their local waterways and take direct action.

Waterwatch data can:

  • Provide historical data on how waterways have changed over time
  • Demonstrate whether activities to protect and restore waterways are having the desired effect
  • Identify emerging local issues
  • Contribute to catchment planning
  • Lead to shared activities to address local waterway issues

Waterwatch support

Waterwatch is a partnership. Support and funding for the program can come from State, Commonwealth and local government, from regional businesses and local communities including schools.

OEH provides this website and resources for use by regional Waterwatch Coordinators and Waterwatch groups.

NSW Waterwatch has partnerships with Catchment Management Authorities, water corporations and authorities, local government, non-government organisations, businesses, the education sector and community organisations such as Landcare. 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.

Partnerships with the scientific community ensure that the methods used by Waterwatch participants are suitable, accurate and reliable. This scientific basis ensures that data collected by the community is useful for planning and monitoring natural resource management actions and natural resource condition over time.

National Waterwatch network

The Waterwatch network promotes the sharing of tools and resources to enhance community involvement in water quality monitoring. Each Australian State supports Waterwatch slightly differently. Links to these programs and resources are listed below.

Australian Capital Territory: www.act.waterwatch.org.au
Queensland: www.qld.waterwatch.org.au
Victoria: www.vic.waterwatch.org.au
South Australia: www.sa.waterwatch.org.au
Western Australia: www.ribbonsofblue.wa.gov.au
Northern Territory: www.greeningaustralia.org.au
Tasmania: www.healthywaterways.org.au

Page last updated: 16 January 2013