Measuring change in waterways

Water quality monitoring plays an important role in evaluating the condition of Victorian waterways.

Thousands of Waterwatch volunteers head out every year to sample and monitor their local waterways. Why? Here are some facts to consider:

  • Victoria has over 330 000 kms of creeks and rivers, over 17 000 wetlands greater than 1 hectare in size, and over 120 bays, inlets and estuaries.
  • Only 22% of Victoria’s rivers are considered in good or excellent condition.
  • The Victorian Water Quality Monitoring Network (VWQMN) monitored water quality at 148 sites in 2002*.
  • The Environment Protection Authority Fixed Site Network monitored water quality at 46 sites in 2002*.
  • Melbourne Water monitored water quality at 58 sites in the Melbourne metropolitan region in 2002*.
  • The Murray-Darling Basin Commission Water Quality Monitoring Program monitored 18 sites in Victoria in 2002*.
  • The Waterwatch program monitored 1454 sites in 2004, most monitored seasonally or more frequently. This spatial coverage value-adds to other monitoring programs such as the VWQMN, and fills local monitoring gaps.

*Information from VWQMN Report 2002. Download the report.