The Waterwatch program at the Southern ACT Catchment Group is one of 4 in the region that partner to form Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch (UMWW). These are:
- Cooma Waterwatch
- Southern ACT Waterwatch
- Molonglo Waterwatch
- Ginninderra/Yass Waterwatch
UMWW engages volunteers, referred to collectively as ‘Waterwatchers’, to monitor the health of waterways in the Upper Murrumbidgee catchment area of the Murray Darling Basin (MDB).
What do ‘Waterwatchers’ do?
Southern ACT Waterwatchers are issued with a special kit to measure the water quality of local waterways within the Southern ACT Catchment region monthly. They upload their data to the UMWW database which allows the Waterwatch coordinator to report any possible pollution or abnormal conditions to relevant agencies. This data also forms the Southern ACT Catchment Group’s contribution to the UMWW’s annual Catchment Health Indicators Program (C.H.I.P) report, which tracks long term changes in waterway health.
Waterwatchers are also invited to assist in other waterway monitoring programs that enrich the information provided by their monthly data. These include;
- Biannual ‘Bug Blitz’; Surveying aquatic invertebrate populations.
- Platypus Watch; Surveying platypus populations every August.
- FrogWatch Census; Surveying frog populations every October.
- Vegetation surveys around our many waterways.
The Waterwatch Coordinator
The Southern ACT Catchment Group’s Waterwatch Coordinator (Martin Lind) provides all the training, equipment and support for our Waterwatchers. He facilitates inclusion in the above activities and provides newsletters and updates on waterway issues and events.
Which Water systems are monitored?
The following Sub-catchments are monitored monthly by the Waterwatch volunteer team:
|o Murrumbidgee River||o Cotter River|
|o Naas River||o Gudgenby River|
|o Paddy’s River||o Lake Tuggeranong|
|o Point Hut Ponds||o Guises Creek|
In addition, the following areas are monitored as part of these catchment systems;
How do I become a Waterwatcher?
Contact our Waterwatch Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 62966400
Southern ACT Waterwatch can provide education sessions with schools and youth groups. We have the personnel and equipment to provide hands-on, locally-based waterway education. We have nets, trays, buckets and water quality kits, pamphlets and stories designed to cover various freshwater topics.
Classes can range from looking for water bugs with the junior kids, through to older grades conducting water quality and habitat assessments that can help to make linkages between our behaviours and river health. Classes are free, but limited, so book early to avoid missing out.
Education materials are also available on the ACT Waterwatch website. Help is available with lesson planning and curriculum needs. There are also water quality and waterbug kits and many other environment education resources available to loan out.