Water quality monitoring program

A comprehensive water quality monitoring program for waterways in disaster-declared local government areas.

Program location: NSW-wide (disaster-affected catchments)

Start date: 18 September 2022

Completion date: 30 June 2024

Investment: $5 million

Clarence River at Copmanhurst, September 2022The program involves comprehensive water quality monitoring in flood-affected local government areas with disaster declarations issued by the NSW Government in 2022. The program aids environmental recovery and will prioritise significantly impacted catchments.

Information gathered through the program will be used to better inform waterways managers and users of water quality, potential impacts on their activities, and to guide management decisions.

Key program activities

  • Consolidate data from existing water quality monitoring programs across the flood-impacted catchments of New South Wales to provide a comprehensive picture of existing water quality monitoring.
  • Develop and implement an event-based water quality monitoring program that fills gaps in water quality monitoring for key rivers, estuaries, beaches and lakes.
  • Engage the community through a citizen science program that facilitates involvement in the monitoring and collecting information on the quality of local waterways.
  • Provide better access to water quality monitoring results and reports that improve understanding of flood impacts on waterways.

Map of NSW showing subject areas of the water quality management program

Benefits of the program

The program will support long term environmental recovery from flood events between February and July 2022 by:

  • understanding the longer-term impacts of floods on water quality.
  • working with communities and waterways users to ensure local needs for information about water quality are met.
  • promoting evidence-based decision making and management.
  • improving stakeholder ability to identify and manage potential risk associated with natural disasters.
  • facilitating coordination and collaboration across agencies and programs.

The program is developed and delivered by the Water Wetlands and Coastal Science Branch within the Department of Planning and Environment’s Environment and Heritage Group. It is delivered in partnership with the NSW Environment Protection Authority and is funded under the joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Contact us at enquiries.waterscience@environment.nsw.gov.au for more information.