North East Regional Victoria
The North East is special, supporting an abundance of natural features, which enhance its viability for our rural and urban communities that are also attractive.
North East Regional Victoria Waterwatch Program
North East Waterwatch is part of a national community monitoring program that has been operating in the North East of Victoria since 1999. The aim of the program is to increase community awareness, understanding and involvement in water quality issues and generate useful water quality data for community and agency use.
One aspect of our program is our adult volunteer network. This network is made up of individuals and community groups who monitor water quality at waterway sites in the north east on a monthly basis. Our adult volunteers are trained to a high standard by Waterwatch staff to undertake testing, and are regularly involved in quality assurance/quality control training as well as social networking and recognition events. The data collected is entered into a standard state-wide Waterwatch database. We currently have over 50 adult volunteers participating in monthly water quality monitoring.
Waterwatch considers education as a fundamental element of environmental management. The North East Waterwatch program is involved in a partnership project known as SEED (School Environment Education Directory) with other natural resource management agencies and environment groups in the north east. SEED is a website that has been developed to allow teachers, students and environmental staff to easily access a fantastic range of sustainability education resources. This information is presented in the topics of biodiversity, climate change, general sustainability, waste and water. Check out the SEED website.
North East Region
The North East region of Victoria is one of the most important water catchments in Australia. While only 2% of the geographic area of the Murray-Darling Basin it contributes 38% of the total water to the Murray-Darling system. Therefore Waterwatch in the North East has a very significant role to play in protecting the quality of nationally important water catchments.
The North East region is an area rich in natural assets from snow-topped mountains to river valleys and open plains. The region covers approximately 1.9 million hectares of North East Victoria, including three major catchments: the Upper Murray, Kiewa and Ovens. The North East is bounded by the Murray River in the north, the Victorian Alps in the south, the NSW border in the east and Warby Ranges in the west. It includes the municipalities of Wodonga, Indigo, Wangaratta, Alpine, Towong and parts of Moira and East Gippsland.
More than 55% of the North East consists of public land encompassing over 200 reserves including National Parks, Wilderness Parks and Historic Reserves. Such parks and reserves are vital for regional biodiversity, offering varying measures of protection to indigenous flora and fauna and important ecosystems.