Streamwatch is a citizen science water monitoring program that enables community groups to monitor the quality and health of local waterways.
Streamwatch is a long running water monitoring program initiated by Sydney Water and the Sydney Catchment Authority. From it’s humble beginnings, Streamwatch started with a trial of 15 schools in 1990. From 1991 to 1994 Streamwatch became a project of the Special Environment Levy Trust. The Streamwatch program originally had a focus on curriculum implementation in secondary schools, but quickly extended beyond schools into a citizen science program.
Similar programs were emerging in other states, the famous Round Table conference in Cobram, Victoria, led to cooperation in developing community water quality monitoring programs. This led to Waterwatch Australia being established as the umbrella coordinating group for developing community water monitoring.
In 2000, Streamwatch was renamed as Waterwatch for all areas outside of Sydney Water’s area of operation.
Since it all began, there have been over 1,100 Streamwatch groups who have monitored water quality at over 1,060 sites, and have contributed almost 31,000 data sets to the online database. These groups have been spread across greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Illawarra and Southern Highlands regions.
As of June 2019, the Streamwatch program is in the process of transfering from the Australian Museum to Greater Sydney Landcare Network.
Streamwatch data on SEED portal
SEED is the NSW Government’s portal for Sharing and Enabling Environmental Data. It contains publicly accessible Land, Air and Water data from NSW Government agencies, and will grow over time as more and different types of environmental data are added.
The Streamwatch dataset includes physical and chemical parameters collected during the period from 1990 to 2018 collected monthly by trained volunteers.