The 2007 audit of the Sydney Drinking Water Catchment was prepared in accordance with Sydney Water Catchment Management Act 1998 (s.42).
The 16,000 square kilometre catchment supplies drinking water to Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra.
The report is structured around 4 major themes:
- raw water quality
- managing water resources
- land condition
- ecosystem health.
The audit process involved consultations on information and data to help assess the state of the catchment. A set of 16 environmental indicators were applied to the 4 major themes to provide a baseline for future audits.
The catchment was officially declared as drought-affected for about three quarters of the 2007 audit period. Where relevant, the auditor interpreted the influence of the drought when reporting findings and implications against relevant indicators by referring in the report to drought or low-flow conditions.
Climate change may cause changes in average temperature, rainfall and evaporation in the catchment. These changes will have long-term consequences for the catchment, but the impacts are more likely to be felt through extreme weather events. Projections suggested there would be more hot days, bushfires, droughts and intense storms. Adaptation to climate change and the management responses required would be continuing challenges for land and water managers/agencies in the catchment.
From the 16 indicators and available data that was assessed in this report, sub-catchments under the most pressure were the Kangaroo River, Wingecarribee River, Mulwaree River and Wollondilly River.
Information from this audit, and past audits, can be used to guide land managers and the community to make decisions about the management of the catchment.
Other audit reports available on this website for this catchment include: