Blue Mountains City Council have been fortunate to have secured John Gooderham, author of The Waterbug Book (CSIRO Publishing), to deliver waterbug identification training workshops on the 29th and 30th October 2018 (probably at Old Ford Reserve, Megalong). These workshops are for Council staff, Bushcare/Landcare/Swampcare/Streamwatch volunteers, teachers and other community members.
If you would like to participate in the training, please contact Amy St Lawrence by Thursday 11 October to express your interest. Places are limited but we’ll do our best to accommodate everyone. You can complete either the Monday or the Tuesday workshop, or if super keen (and places are available), both!
Council’s Healthy Waterways team can then assist workshop participants to complete their own waterbug surveys with their Bushcare/Landcare/Swampcare/Streamwatch groups or schools, with data collected to be entered into the National Waterbug Blitz – https://www.waterbugblitz.org.au/
Beautiful creeks and waterways are a wonderful part of our City – but how healthy are they?
Since 1998, Council has regularly tested waterway health at up to 50 waterways across the City. As a result, we now have one of the richest water quality data sets in Australia, and Council uses this data to inform its catchment improvement programs.
Council has published detailed water quality reports on its website since 2006. From July 2016, Council has also produced a summary ‘snapshot’ report, with the aim of making waterway health information more available to the community. The snapshot reports are mailed to all ratepayers in July.
The full waterway health reports, as well as the summary “snapshot” reports, are also available on Council’s website at www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/waterways.
The ‘snapshot’ report shows each sample waterway in the Blue Mountains, the catchment within which it flows, and its state of ecological health (rated Excellent, Good, Fair or Poor). In the 2017 report, 52% of tested waterways are in good condition or better, while 48% of waterways are in fair to poor condition.
Our city is lucky to have some of Australia’s best waterways, but as these results show, they are also vulnerable to pollution – especially due to stormwater runoff from urban areas.
Urban runoff is consistently identified as the number one environmental threat to our World Heritage listing and presents challenges for local drinking water catchments, Endangered Ecological Communities, threatened species and the City’s tourism reputation.
Everything that goes into our gutters and streets ends up in our creeks.
Try these few simple actions to help protect our waterways from urban runoff:
Keep these pollutants out of drains: litter, soil and sand, fertilisers and pesticides, detergents, oil, animal droppings and garden waste.
Install a rainwater tank to capture rainwater from your roof and use it regularly.
Design your garden to allow stormwater to soak into the ground.
You might be interested in this upcoming symposium, Rainforests of Subtropical Australia, being held 23-24 March 2017 at Robina on the Gold Coast?
Hosted by Healthy Waterways and Catchments, ROSA promises to be a stellar event with keynotes from Tim Low, Roger Kitching, Carla Catterall and Ralf Buckley, over 25 presentations in 4 themes (rainforest values, restoration, threatened species and climate change), a special Rainforest Legends event, dinner with Ian Lowe, and a robust Q&A style discussion on the complex interactions between fire and rainforest.
Registrations are limited, and early bird closes on Wed 15 Feb, so book now!