• Project No 1140
  • Project Name Catchment Health Metrics
  • Lead Organisation Sydney Water
  • Completion Year 2026

Project Description

Catchment health metrics are physical, chemical, biological, and socioeconomic indicators that collectively provide a holistic measure of a catchment’s state and functional capacity. Catchment health metrics can provide an effective mechanism for not only assessing the health of a catchment but also a means of assessing the effectiveness of catchment control measures being implemented by management organisations. There is great diversity of catchments within Australia, displaying vastly different physical, chemical, biological, and hydrological interactions socioeconomic characteristics. Additionally, these catchments are impacted by a variety of land uses, levels of public access, types of water sources and receiving environments, demanding often very varied management responses. To ensure that catchment health information is useful for decision making, catchment health metrics should represent the dominant variables that impact the critical community environmental values provided by the catchment. Given the diversity in catchment characteristics, it is unlikely that a fully standardised set of catchment health metrics can accurately represent all types of catchments. This project will investigate and identify environmental indicators that would feed into a tailored catchment health assessment framework which would provide decision makers and regulators with a common paradigm and consistent approach to evaluate the state of a catchment and quantify the costs, benefits, risks, and opportunities of different management scenarios.