Our Waterways Programs are designed to make the community and students more aware of issues surrounding water quality and understand what we can all do to improve the water flowing into Merri Creek in the northern suburbs of Melbourne and beyond.
Waterwatch at MCMC
Waterwatch is a free river health education and monitoring program. It is part of the State water quality-monitoring network, Waterwatch Victoria. The primary goal of Waterwatch is to foster community awareness, understanding and ownership of local water quality issues, through active involvement in monitoring the health of Melbourne’s creeks, rivers and wetlands. The program achieves this goal by providing a range of structured river health activities, which are hands on, practical, fun and highly educational.
Waterwatch activities cater for a broad range of participants with varying levels of expertise. The overall objective of the Waterwatch program is to provide the structure, expertise, and support required to empower school and community members to achieve the following:
1. Gain a comprehensive understanding of national and local river health and water quality issues,
2. Learn how to collect valuable scientific information associated with the water quality of local creeks, rivers or wetlands
3. Interpret the information collected and understand what it means.
4. Discuss findings with catchment managers and contribute to the development of management recommendations
5. Become actively involved in the implementation of on-ground works and the monitoring of their success
Participating groups include primary and secondary schools, tertiary institutions, community, conservation and friends groups, local government representatives and individuals. During 2017/18 within there were 117 active monitoring groups monitoring 768 active sites throughout Victorian catchment areas. Over 12,000 people particpated in Waterwatch community events, and there were 1,477 Waterwatch volunteers. Waterwatch monitoring groups (school students and community members) regularly monitor the health of waterways in their local area and work in partnership with water authorities, local government, landholders and business to improve environmental conditions of local creeks, rivers and wetlands. (taken from the 2017/18 Estuarywatch and Waterwatch Annual Achievements report).
Waterwatch is divided into seven regions across the Port Phillip and Western Port region, each with their own coordinator and program. The Merri Creek and Moonee Ponds Catchment is funded by Melbourne Water, Moreland City Council, Yarra City Council, Whittlesea City Council, Darebin City Council and Moonee Valley Council and supported by the Victorian Government.