Waterwatch

Waterwatch is a monitoring and engagement program that connects local communities with river health and water management issues and informs waterway management. Waterwatch volunteers have been collecting water quality data in our region since 1993 – nearly 30 years!

What is Waterwatch?

Waterwatch is a citizen science program that upskills everyday people in how to collect water quality data for their local waterway.

Our dedicated volunteers go out at least once a month over many years to collect valuable water quality data that create datasets showing trends in pH, electrical conductivity, turbidity, temperature and reactive phosphorus over time.

With guidance and support from the WGCMA, volunteers gain an increased understanding of waterway issues and catchment health that help them feel more connected and informed about their water.

Is there existing data on my waterway?

All Waterwatch data collected is stored on the state Waterwatch database.

You can access it via the link above.

The best bit is, all data is stored under a Common Creatives license, so anyone can download the data for their own interpretations at any time.

How does Waterwatch data get used?

Waterwatch monitors usually have specific questions they are interested in answering with the data they have collected. Waterwatch Victoria has developed an excellent resource called Interpreting River Health Data for your use.

Waterwatch data is also taken from the database to fill the gaps of agency’s monitoring programs and help waterway managers make decisions and plan action. The high sampling intensity of community collected data makes it a very valuable resource.

Some examples of where Waterwatch data has been used for regional planning activities, include:

  • Regional Catchment Strategy
  • Corner Inlet Water Quality Improvement Plan 2013
  • South Gippsland, Baw Baw, Wellington, Latrobe and Bass Coast shire council Stormwater Management Plans
  • Gippsland Lakes Coastal Action Plan
  • Catchment Condition Report Latrobe & Corner Inlet Catchment Ecosystems 2009

Becoming a Waterwatch monitor

Waterwatch monitors choose to be involved in the program for many reasons, for example you may be worried that the water quality of your creek is getting worse and want to explore this.

Maybe you are after an outdoor activity to do with your children to encourage their connection to nature, or maybe you are a student looking for work and want to add this to your resume. Mostly, people just want to do some good for the environment whilst getting some fresh air.

To find out more please email westgippy@wgcma.vic.gov.au  or ring our Waterwatch coordinator on 1300 094 262.

 

PAGE UPDATED MARCH 2021

Waterwatch logo
Waterwatch co-ordinator Jem Stirling testing water in Wreck Creek, South Gipplsand