Our local waterways will be in good hands with the announcement of ACT government funding for Waterwatch, which keeps an eye on catchment areas across the Canberra region.
Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell said ACT government funding of $270,000 would fill a hole created when Commonwealth funding through the Caring for our Country Program ceased.
“I am pleased to announce the reinstatement of funding for Waterwatch that will enable water quality benefits through the collection of data to continue. Raising awareness and supporting individuals to take responsibility for their catchments, Waterwatch works with schools, local park care groups and the broader community,” Mr Corbell said.
“Waterwatch is a powerful and cost-effective body that uses volunteers to monitor the health of our waterways and lakes. It’s part of a national community water quality monitoring program that brings people together to protect our precious waterways.
“The local community can get involved and help to regularly monitor the water quality of local creeks, wetlands, lake, rivers and stormwater drains. We know that when we have healthy waterways this indicates healthy catchments. Waterwatch engages the whole community in promoting stewardship of our waterways.”
Community support for Waterwatch remains strong with approximately 160 volunteers monitoring 200 sites across the ACT and region. The quality of the data collected by these volunteers has been confirmed by the University of Canberra.
A valuable management tool, the Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch database also helps provide the Canberra community with an excellent long-term indication of the condition of its waterways. The database ensures the public can access nearly 10,000 volunteer-collected water quality records spanning more than 15 years.
The Waterwatch program is an environmental education and awareness program that aims to encourage and support the community to take responsibility for improving the quality of water in the Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment.