Waterbug Bioblitz and Waterwatch

This project expands existing Waterwatch and Waterbug Bioblitz activities in Murraylands and Riverland and Hills and Fleurieu regions into the Clare Valley and Barossa in the Northern and Yorke region. Funded by the state government's Citizen Science Fund, it creates a collaborative statewide program, bringing together community, First Nations, scientists, NGOs and landscape boards across the 3 regions.

With the support of citizen science volunteers, the project aims to capture ecological data to support water management, especially in areas of high-water demand. It also looks to incorporate First Nations cultural knowledge as an important part of the holistic management of our waterways.

Waterbug Bioblitz and Waterwatch

What is Waterwatch?

Waterwatch is a program that provides training, equipment and on-going support for schools and other community sectors to collect water quality and flow data from local waterways.

A Waterwatch program will be re-established in the Barossa and Clare Valley areas of the Northern and Yorke region for the first time in more than a decade. Schools will be targeted where there is an established local community group that can take the lead. Cultural knowledge around waterways will be incorporated through a codesign process with local First Nations.

Existing Waterwatch activities in the Murraylands and Riverland and Hills and Fleurieu regions will continue monitoring at existing sites, while engaging and recruiting new volunteers to monitor sites where there are data gaps.

Waterbug Bioblitz and Waterwatch

What is Waterbug Bioblitz?

Waterbug Bioblitz is an event-based program that provides a snapshot sample of the macroinvertebrates (waterbugs) and water quality from a range of sites within a catchment area. The samples are collected annually at the same time of year to provide information about the trends in condition of the sample sites and an overview of the catchment health.

Northern and Yorke events will focus on the waterways in the Barossa (12 sites) and the Clare Valley (10 sites), offering important new engagement opportunities with local water users and the community.

Existing Waterbug Bioblitz programs in the Murraylands and Riverland region (Marne and Saunders - 11 sites) will be promoted to a wider community base. Within the Hills and Fleurieu region, engagement for existing Waterbug bioblitz catchments (Angas and Finniss - 13 sites and Bremer - 15 sites) will be expanded, and the addition of new catchments supported by local community groups.

Key project outcomes

  1. Expand established Waterwatch and Waterbug Bioblitz activities in Murraylands and Riverland and Hills and Fleurieu regions to include Northern and Yorke catchments.
  2. Build on connections with First Nations in catchment management across the 3 regions.
  3. Establish a new community of citizen scientists in the Hindmarsh River catchment to build an understanding of catchment health and the land-based impacts on the marine environment.
  4. Provide support to a diverse range of local volunteers to take the lead in monitoring water-dependent ecosystems.
  5. Provide ecological data to fill identified knowledge gaps in Prescribed Water Resources Areas that are experiencing impacts of ongoing climate change and variability.
  6. Report results back to the community and stakeholders through publicly accessible databases (Biocollect), dashboards, catchment reports, seasonal snapshots and integrated Report Cards.

Lead agency

Northern and Yorke Landscape Board

Funding partners

This project is funded through the State Government’s Citizen Science Grant.

Project partners

Related links