The first comprehensive analysis of the health of NSW’s rivers, wetlands and catchments
highlights the critical stress our water resources are under from overallocation, rapid
development, mining, land clearing and other human impact pressures, according to the
state’s leading environment groups.
The Department of the Environment, Climate Change and Water’s 2010 State of the
catchment reports found wetland areas in all 13 catchments assessed across NSW were in
poor or very poor condition, with some catchments under high pressure from a "lack of
“The dire state of our wetlands is having a direct impact on their ability to filter drinking
water, protect against floods and provide essential support for a variety of plant and animal
life, ” said the Wilderness Society, NSW Campaign Manager, Belinda Fairbrother.
The reports highlight a concerning level of extinctions across the catchments, with many
remaining species, including fish populations, existing with less than half of pre‐European
levels. Many were also found to have poor to very poor ratings on fauna and threatened
The priorities for leadership on our rivers, wetlands and catchments in the upcoming 2011
NSW Election have been outlined by the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, National
Parks Association, Total Environment Centre, Blue Mountains Conservation Society, Colong
Foundation for Wilderness and the Wilderness Society in the visionary agenda Natural
This agenda calls on political leaders to secure and restore long‐term health to the rivers,
wetlands and catchments of NSW.
“This is an opportunity for both parties to show strong environmental leadership to address
the poor health of our river systems. This should start with increased investment in
catchment restoration, including funding for Catchment Management Authorities.” said the
Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Chief Executive Officer, Pepe Clarke.