The map below shows the location of monitoring sites of the Citizen Science Waterwatch program in the Bellarine catchment.
Click on a site to see further information.
Note: Waterwatch data is not used in the calculation of the catchment Water Quality Index score.
See ‘Bellarine Catchment’ page for a detailed description of the catchment.
The citizen science based Corangamite Waterwatch program has been monitoring the water quality in the Bellarine catchment since 1997. Monitoring of habitat, water quality parameters and aquatic macroinvertebrates (waterbugs) has been undertaken in Hovells Creek and Cowies Creek in the Geelong Region and further east at Yarram Creek and other waterways flowing into Swan Bay.
To assess and classify water quality from ‘Very Poor’ to ‘Very Good’, the Report Cards use parameters of dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, salinity, water clarity and nutrients. Whilst the Waterwatch program uses a similar methodology and water quality parameters, they are not consistent with the data collected in the other catchments used in this Report Card. Therefore, a water quality index cannot be reliably calculated for the Bellarine catchment.
An assessment of the 2016–2017 Waterwatch data indicates that Poor water quality conditions are present in the Bellarine region. The poor water quality is associated with land use and development activities in rural, urban and industrial areas. Runoff from rural areas results in increased sediment and nutrients entering the waterways and stormwater from urban and industrial areas results in pollution entering the waterways.
For further information about the Corangamite Waterwatch program contact the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA).
Driven by the key water quality and land degradation issues identified by the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, major projects were implemented to improve water quality across the region. Initiatives include:
Short-lived environmental and extreme weather events can impact water quality. Long-term dry spells can result in reduced river flows, increases in salinity and algal blooms; while heavy rain can cause flooding and river bank erosion, and can wash sediments, nutrients and pollutants into waterways.
Above average rainfall occurred in 2016–2017. The Bureau of Meteorology (2017) (BoM station no. 87113 Avalon Airport) noted six days when significant rainfall (23–58 mm) was recorded.