SACTCG Waterwatch Summer 2024 Catchment Update

From the Coordinators Desk


Welcome to Autumn team. We have 2 outings in one week to you socially engaged this month. On Wednesday 20th SACTCG is inviting you to our Quarterly Meeting. It will be on World Frog Day, so who better than  AnkeMaria Hoefer to give a very animated and entertaining talk on this special day?  Then on Friday 22nd we have the launch of the 2023 CHiP report. Details below to keep you scrolling.
It is also time again for the Bug Blitz, so email me if you would like to help me again. (
Finally I need you to pencil in Sunday May 19th for the next QA/QC Workshop. This time hosted by Antia Brademann, Cooma Waterwatch.

Martin Lind Waterwatch Coordinator


Southern ACT Waterwatchers of the Month

Combined Tertiary Students Waterwatch team
Caitilin & Mareli (ANU) and Naomi (CIT) gather to keep a close eye on the Murrumbidgee River at Pine Island Reserve

By Caitlin;
1. Best experience or memory of Waterwatching
Helping with the waterbug surveys is great (not just because of the biscuits and tea provided but they do help).

2. Funniest experience while Waterwatching
Trying to outrun the rain and failing, I got through about half of the tests when it hit and there weren’t any sheltered areas available on the site that day.  I eventually found some shelter off-site and finished the tests.

3. What you love/hate most about your site/s
The wildlife, sometimes a few birds will jump onto the table to see what we’re up to. The kangaroos and their joeys are very cute too. I also like identifying the different plant species around Pine Island.

There’s not much to hate about the site, it’s frustrating when there’s been rubbish dumped on the site but generally it’s pretty good.

4. Your motivation for continuing to Waterwatch
I think it’s important to continually monitor the condition of the waterways across the ACT and it’s also a really great opportunity to get outside and have a break from regular work and study.

5. Anything else you would love to share about yourself
I’m in my final year of uni studying for a Bachelor of Environment and Sustainability / Bachelor of Science and I’m also a part of the ANU Intrepid Landcare team for 2024!

Mareli, Naomi & Caitlin (with bugs, tea & biccies)

Southern ACT Catchment Group news and events

Head to SACTCG Calendar/News for the latest on the SACTCG website

Southern ACT Catchment Group Membership Form.

Membership to the SACTCG is now a requirement for all Southern ACT Waterwatchers. Below is the link to a downloadable form. Please complete this as best you can and email/post/carrier pigeon it to me. Thanks to those who have done so already.
Membership Form.

  ACT Environment Grants Open

Applications for the ACT Government’s 2024-2025 ACT Environmental Grants Program are now open.
Southern ACT Catchment is happy to discuss and /or apply for a grant for a project in your area.  Please get in touch early to ensure we have the time to scope the project and complete a good application.
Applications close 28 March 2024.
For this round of environmental grants there are two streams available to support projects in the ACT:

•    Environment Grants – grants of up to $35,000 are available for projects focused on enhancing ecological condition and connectivity, connecting people with nature and Caring for Country initiatives.

•    Environmental Volunteer Assistance Grants – grants of up to $5,000 are available for volunteer groups to improve their capabilities and capacity to engage in environmental stewardship through volunteer recruitment, promotion, training or planning activities.

To discuss your project ideas please get in touch with us: Martin Lind








Dear Members,

Southern ACT Catchment Group is delighted to invite you to our Quarterly Members Meeting on World Frog Day (20th March)

This is a social event in which members can share achievements and exchange ideas with the SACTCG team and other Landcare groups in the Southern ACT Catchment group area.

To mark the occasion, the delightful Anke-Maria (From Ginninderra Catchment Groups’ Frogwatch Program) will be sharing an exciting and educational talk on local frogs and how we can care for them.

Please share amongst your volunteers and join us for the meeting, share in nibbles and learn all about the local frogs in Canberra.

🐸 When: Wednesday 20th March 5:30pm 6:30pm

🐸 Where: Hughes Community Centre (Whittle St, Hughes ACT 2605, See attached image for map)

🐸RSVP: Please reply to Joe Johnstone to register your attendance

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Joseph Johnstone
Southern ACT Catchment Group Inc

  Treasurer needed

Southern ACT Catchment Group is looking for a Treasurer for the Executive Committee. Please refer anyone who may be interested to our Chair Miranda Gardner –  The role is well supported with the previous treasurer still active on the committee, a paid bookkeeper and a General Manager.
SACTCG has a wonderful diverse committee of individuals who meet for 1-2hrs per month. This is an opportunity to improve our network, inspire the direction of our strong, dynamic 20 yr old organisation, work with some fantastic forward-thinking minds and learn more about NFP Governance. SACTCG is an incorporated NFP organisation with Charity and DGR status, with committee members from our community member groups and skill-based positions.

   CHiP 2023 Launch

“Hi there everyone, the CHIP report 2023 launch is going ahead on Friday the 22nd of March for World Water Day.

Croke Place Wetlands in Evatt at 10:30am.

10:30am: Arrival, greetings, speeches
11:00am: Morning tea / Media interviews/photos / viewing of water bugs with volunteers.
11.45am: Official part of event concludes.

RSVP here:  by the 12th of March for catering purposes.

Kind regards,
Daniel Harris-Pascal | Regional Waterwatch Facilitator

  QA/QC Workshop Save the date

Just a heads up that the next QA/QC will be on Sunday 19th May at Michelago Hall, NSW. I will be informing those teams who should attended. Look forward to an email soonish.

ACT Government Waterway updates     
Waterway closures                      Recreational Water Quality                      Bacteria alerts

   Nature Mapr Video Launch
Nature Mapr hosts ACT & Region Frog Watch, our sister Citizen Science program’s data. Watch a video showcasing the partnerships they have with the ACT Government produced with help from Richard Snashall (ABC & SBS)  More information  Watch video.

Icon Water Eflow releases                   
Last month’s summary of Icon dam release reports below. They are sent fortnightly and are available upon request.
All dams on the Cotter stopped overflowing as of the start of March for the first time in many months. Getting dry folks.
Cotter Dam  Flow below the dam is down to 17ML/day, just over the license of 15ML/day
Bendora Dam Flow into the Cotter now a trick at 8ML/Day which is actually below the license requirements.
Corin Dam The highest flows in the river at 165ML/day into Bendora Dam. Just above license of 160ML/day.

Other watery events newsletters and links:

Native Fish Forum: Canberra, 25-27 March 2024.
Still time to register


Some shared snippets

ARRC unearths local love for the Upper ‘Bidgee…

Late last year, the Australian River Restoration Centre surveyed more than 1,000 residents of the ACT and greater ACT region about the Upper Murrumbidgee and their relationship with it.  The ARRC’s survey showed that the community holds strong personal connections to the river. They value the Upper Murrumbidgee for cultural, social, environmental, and economic benefits, while many had strong connections relating to childhood and family experiences. They believed that these values need to be better considered in the river’s current and future management. Further details are available via the ARRC link above.

DCCEEW funding boost for the Upper Murrumbidgee 
The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water has recently overseen the  Water Amendment (Restoring Our Rivers) Act 2023.  This commenced on 7 December 2023 providing more options, more time, more funding, and more accountability to deliver the Murray Darling Basin Plan in full.  Healthy and sustainable river systems are important for all of us, sustaining businesses, recreation, cultural use, and providing critical drinking water.
The DCCEEW announcement (see link below) provides details of their recent $50 million commitment for measures to improve the health of the Upper Murrumbidgee.

Andy Bodsworth
Executive Officer | UMCN
PO Box 82 Jamison Centre ACT 2614
Mob: 0439 602 769

  Aliens Among Us 
What: Aliens Among Us Q&A – The Ferals that Ate Australia
When: Monday 18th March, 12-1pm AEDT
Where: Online on Zoom – register for the link to join (plus calendar and email reminders)
Invasive animals are significant issue for the Murrumbidgee River. Pigs, deer and horses do major damage to the headwaters of the river and many tributaries both in the ACT and NSW. Find more and RSVP here.

Expert Commentary: 2023 was the warmest year on record
The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) announced on 9 January 2024 that 2023 was officially the hottest year in recorded history.
The announcement follows a preliminary press release, 30 November, by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) which showed that data even up to the end of October 2023 meant that the year 2023 was about 1.40 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures.
Copernicus’ full record, which now includes November and December data, saw that record temperature updated to 1.48 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures.
CSIRO experts, who are undertaking a wide range of research to help governments, industries and communities tackle climate change, respond. Go to the article.

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