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Impacts on the quality of our waterways

The Hawkesbury-Nepean River catchment is under severe threat from a wide range of land use impacts and pollution.

  • Reduced flows - Warragamba Dam and a series of weirs change the natural flow of the water, reducing the amount of water in the river
  • Vegetation clearing - Lands cleared for agriculture and recreational use lead to erosion of the bank, as well asWeed bloom removing habitat for aquatic birds, frogs and invertebrates
  • Chemicals and pollutants - Discharges from sewage treatment plants and from sources such as agricultural runoff and urbanstormwater add nutrients to the river, also increasing the risk of algal blooms. Algal blooms also lead to excessive weed growth and reduced numbers of native fish

There are many things we can all do to help our rivers and creeks. The best way for communities and individuals to improve water quality in our catchments is simply through reducing the footprint that we have on the broader environment. Each individual taking action goes a long way to improving our waterways.

What can you do to help?

  1. Get your hands dirty with replanting vegetation alongside creeks and rivers
  2. Help a farmer fence off a creek to prevent  bank erosion caused by stock
  3. Don't release introduced carp and redfin back into the waterway
  4. Reduce water use in the home
  5. Use soaps and detergents without phosphorus
  6. Avoid over fertilising gardens and lawns
  7. Avoid pouring cleaning products and chemicals down the sink or storm drain
  8. Service septic and Envirocycle systems regularly
  9. Be vigilant and report chemical spills to the authorities (Environmental Protection Agency, Council)
  10. Use silt traps on building sites
  11. Washing vehicles on the lawn
  12. Prevent exotic plants and animals escaping from our gardens and homes (aquarium fish)
  13. Disposing of rubbish in the appropriate manner
  14. Buy environmentally sustainable and friendly food and fibre
  15. Get involved in Citizen Science