Waterwatch is a schools-based program where students can become ‘citizen scientists’ and get involved in regular monitoring of their waterways. Students undertake site visits and collect data on the third weekend (Thurs-Mon) of each month during the ‘flow season’ of May to November each year.

Data collected by Waterwatchers give us a better picture of water quantity and quality across the region. The data is collected for a range of purposes, including:

  • monitoring the long-term trends and condition of our waterways
  • monitoring the effects of riparian revegetation projects and other local land management activities
  • supporting property Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
  • monitoring the performance of Water Allocation Plans, Cultural and Environmental Flows projects
  • community education and information sharing.

Schools undertake training with a Waterwatch expert who will teach participants all they need to know about measuring waterways, health indicators, identifying macroinvertebrates and using equipment and monitoring methods.


How the data is used

Key indicators that represent ‘healthy waterways’ include, flow rates, turbidity, salinity (EC), pH levels and macroinvertebrates (water bugs). These are collected and measured by the students as part of the program. This monitoring gives us a baseline picture of the health of the waterway and changes in the catchment are measured over time.

If the health of a site appears to be deteriorating, this tells us that further investigation and intervention may be needed, such as remediation works.

The data is accessible through our online database, which is also utilized by two other Landscape Boards. This information is also sent to the Bureau of Meteorology, becoming part of a national water resource database.

If you would like to be involved, please contact the Community Engagement Officer Liz.Ninnes@sa.gov.au.

Waterwatch is also delivered in other parts of South Australia. Find out more about Waterwatch delivered by Landscape Hills and Fleurieu and Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board.