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Council conducts environmental improvement works and programs at many sites within our catchment to improve river and catchment health. This includes stormwater management projects, the installation of various pollution control devices and water sensitive urban design. It also includes programs like the Get the Site Right compliance campaign targeting sediment and erosion control on building and development sites.
Council also works closely with other councils on river health and catchment management through its active membership in the Cooks River Alliance, Georges Riverkeeper and Parramatta River Catchment Group. Learn more below about how we are working to monitor and improve river health through these organisations.
The Cooks River Alliance has been monitoring ecological health since 2011. Annual Ecological Health Report Cards were published between 2014 – 2017 measuring water quality, macroinvertebrates, benthic diatoms, riparian vegetation and creek channel condition.
At the Cooks River Catchment Congress 2020, the Alliance gathered stakeholders and experts from the University of Maryland to develop a Waterway Health Report Card tailored specifically to the Cooks River that showcases its many environmental, social and economic values. The first report card is due to be published in 2021. Learn more here.
Georges Riverkeeper’s River Health Monitoring Program collects environmental data to guide waterway management and inform the community about the condition of waterways across the catchment. The Program applies scientifically rigorous methods to the assessment of freshwater tributaries and estuarine sections of the Georges River.
Complex data is simplified into grades, such as those reported in the State of the Georges River 2020 Report and River Health Report Cards, found in Georges Riverkeeper’s Resource Library, to facilitate a shared understanding of the condition of waterways.
The plan to make the Parramatta River swimmable again is based on scientific studies of water quality, ecological health, swim site activation, waterway governance, and community consultation, to ensure evidence based actions and targets that can be realistically achieved by 2025. Learn more about this background research here that informed the development of the Parramatta River Masterplan.