Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.

Healthy Catchments Healthy Harbour

Healthy Catchments Healthy Harbour

The Sydney Harbour Catchment Water Quality Improvement Plan or Healthy Catchments Healthy Harbour project is an initiative of the Hawkesbury Nepean CMA (formerly  Sydney Metropolitan CMA) that aims to develop a catchment scale approach for improving water quality in Sydney Harbour, including the Parramatta River tributary.

As of November 2012, a total of ten PRCG councils had become partners in this project including Ashfield, Auburn, Blacktown, Burwood, Canada Bay, Holroyd, Leichhardt, Parramatta, Ryde and Strathfield.
Healthy Catchments Healthy Harbour began in 2010 and is expected to take four years to complete. It will provide an over-arching Plan for Sydney Harbour and its tributaries by identifying actions to improve water quality. As part of the development of the Plan, the following models and support systems will also be developed:

  1. A Pollutant Export Model that provides estimates of total annual pollutant loads of sediment and nutrients and load generation rates per hectare and also per major land use class.
  2. An Ecological Response Model describing the overall catchment pollutant load impact on the ecology of the receiving waters. This will assist councils to understand the impacts and illustrate the need to improve water quality in their local area.
  3. A Water Quality Decision Support System (DSS) describing local catchment based pollutant loads, climate change and land use change impacts, catchment management impacts and the potential changes to receiving waters. The DSS will provide a comprehensive method of assessing different management strategies over a range of temporal and spatial scales.

The major milestones involved in the project are listed below along with the current progress.

1. Assemble, compile & interpret existing data (complete)
2. Carry out software review study (complete)
3. Develop a communication strategy (complete)
4. Undertake catchment delineation (complete)
5. Develop and calibrate a Hydrologic Catchment Model (underway; Parramatta River complete)
6. Build and calibrate a Pollutant Export Model (underway; Parramatta River complete)
7. Develop and calibrate an Ecological Response Model (underway)
8. Develop a Decision Support System (pilot underway)
9. Establish an estuarine water quality monitoring program (preliminary sampling underway)
10. Draft Water Quality Improvement Plan (to be commenced 2013)
11. Adopt and implement Water Quality Improvement Plan
12. Monitor and review

For further information on this project please click here.