The tools, resources and information we provide for water quality managers include water quality and river flow objectives, monitoring programs and support for local councils and decision-makers to manage water quality.
NSW Water Quality and River Flow Objectives
We have developed the NSW Water Quality and River Flow Objectives for all catchments across New South Wales. They were developed in consultation with local communities and recognise the environmental values and uses people want protected and represent ideal natural flow conditions for healthy rivers.
The NSW Water Quality Objectives include indicators of water quality that support a specific value or use. The NSW River Flow Objectives set out goals for surface water flow management and identify how river flow can protect river health and water quality.
A similar set of objectives are available for marine waters and are known as the Marine Water Quality Objectives.
Water quality management
The NSW Government adopted the National Water Quality Management Strategy (NWQMS) as its policy to manage the quality of waterways in New South Wales and protect water resources. It includes guidelines to support state and local governments, water authorities and industry to maintain and improve water quality according to local community environmental values and uses. These values and uses are what the community believes are important for a healthy ecosystem, for public benefit, welfare, safety or health.
The Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (the Guidelines) is the central technical reference document for the NWQMS. The Guidelines provide a framework, recommendations and scientific criteria to help planners, regulators and researchers manage and improve water quality and waterway health.
The Guidelines were updated in 2018 to incorporate new science and knowledge developed since they were last revised in 2000, and will be updated periodically.