About the monitoring projects
The department uses monitoring and research projects to track if changes in water management protect and improve water-dependent environments. We have obligations to report on the environmental outcomes in NSW.
To enable this, the department has developed the Environmental Outcomes Monitoring and Research Program (EOMRP). This ensures that science-based decision-making is used to manage surface and groundwater water environments.
What are we monitoring?
We are working together with researchers, universities, and other government agencies to study how flows affect river resources such as nutrients, aquatic insects, native vegetation, fish, frogs, and turtles. We undertake monitoring across NSW in both inland and coastal catchments.
The EOMRP has 5 main themes:
Why do we monitor changes?
One of the key drivers of environmental outcomes in surface water environments is river flow. In particular, the location, magnitude, timing, frequency and duration of river flows affect environmental outcomes.
These river flows can be broken into broad flow categories, which include cease-to-flows, low flows, fresh flows, bankfull, and overbank flows (Image 1). Each flow category can influence a range of habitats and organisms. In NSW, how river flow is managed is driven by the Basin Plan (2012) and the water sharing plans developed under the NSW Water Management Act (2000).
Our monitoring and research projects evaluate and report changes in surface water environments. The EOMRP will improve our ability to assess the effectiveness of water sharing rules and water management in NSW. This research will help us ensure that rivers are managed sustainably, and that the health of our water environments is maintained or improved.