A key output of the Waterwatch program is the annual CHIP report card.
This provides a health score for our rivers and wetlands using data collected by Waterwatch volunteers.
To celebrate World Water Day (22 March), Waterwatch has released its 2018 CHIP Report
The report is based on a record 2,081 water quality surveys plus 192 water bug surveys and 220 riverbank vegetation assessments collected by over 200 volunteers! Many thanks to all the volunteers who made this possible.
Key points of 2018 report:
- The report has found that out of 94 report cards, 5 are in ‘excellent’ health, 37 were ‘good’, 49 presented as ‘fair’ and 3 were a 'poor' rating.
- Overall, 55% of reaches fell into the fair/poor range which is a rise from 47%.
- This trend is most likely a result of it being the driest Autumn since 2004 and the driest Winter since 1994 for the ACT region.
- The three main CHIP parameters were all adversely affected, with water quality showing higher electrical conductivity and lower dissolved oxygen, water bugs being caught in lower numbers and riparian assessments highlighting increases in bare ground.
- Many of the volunteers who have been monitoring for more than ten years have been saying they’ve never seen their sites so dry.
- Waterways in our upland reserves such as Bogong Creek and the Cotter River were found to have the best health. Urban wetlands and adjacent streams such as Lyneham Wetland and parts of the Tuggeranong catchment, fared the worst.
- Given the stress our aquatic systems have demonstrated during 2018, it is more important than ever for us to build resilience into waterways and their surrounding catchments.
The 2016–17 CHIP report is based on 1,861 water quality surveys, 199 water bug surveys and 210 riparian condition surveys collected by over 200 volunteers! The total number of sites surveyed was 222 and a total of 94 report cards on individual sections of river were covered in this report.
The 2015–16 CHIP report is based on 1,973 water quality surveys, 206 water bug surveys and 196 riparian condition surveys collected by over 200 volunteers! The total number of sites surveyed has increased from 184 in 2013–14 to 229 in 2015–16. A total of 96 reach report cards are covered in this report.
The 2014–15 CHIP report is based on 1,556 water quality surveys, 206 water bug surveys and 178 riparian condition surveys. The total number of sites surveyed has increased from 184 in 2013–14 to 229 in 2014–15. A total of 90 reaches are covered in this report.
If you are interested in just one of the four main sub-catchments, you can download them seperately.
2013-14 CHIP Report
In 2013, the CHIP underwent a review by the University of Canberra and it was recommended that the data be displayed in smaller waterway sections defined here as ‘reaches’. This allows for a finer scale assessment on the condition of our waterways where data exists and highlights areas in the catchment that are currently unsampled. The 2013–2014 CHIP has taken on this new approach and each reach is accompanied by individual report cards to provide greater context. Given the many changes, this CHIP report is being viewed as a pilot study and feedback from volunteers, catchment managers and scientists will be greatly welcomed.