IMG 0999Waterwatch  activities can be easily adapted for Tertiary students. The range of Citzen Science monitoring we deliver include:

All monitoring is supervised by an accredited and trained Waterwatch Leader or Coordinator. Once monitoring is completed, the results, otherwise known as "data"  is collated and uploaded onto various Citizen Science apps and databases so the data is available for the community. 

A Waterwatch Coordinator is available for Tertairy Institutions on a fee for service basis. To inquire contact the Waterwatch Coordinator Julia Cirillo on 9380 8199 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Further information on Waterwatch monitoring:

Water Quality Monitoring (physical chemical parameters)

Water quality monitoring provides students with a fundamental understanding of waterway health, and as a result is a core activity of the Waterwatch program. Water quality monitoring involves the measurement of various physical and chemical properties, such as temperature, salinity, turbidity, acidity/alkalinity and nutrients. Students learn how these properties affect the health of rivers, creeks and wetlands, where they come from, and how we can minimise the impact we have upon our local waterways and the life they sustain.
When conducting water quality tests, it is important to understand why quality control is important and how to obtain the most accurate measurements; we call this QAQC - quality assurance quality control.
Depending on the age group of your students, we usually attempt to achieve secondary level QA/QC and then progress to tertiary level. Secondary level information is used by local government, schools and community groups as an indicative measure of waterway health in your local area, but if your group can attain tertiary level QA/QC the data you generate will be made available to catchment managers and will also be submitted to the Waterwatch Data portal. 

Biological sampling

Aquatic Macroinvertebrate sampling (Waterbugs)

Macroinvertebrate sampling is another important and extremely popular activity for students. It involves the sampling aquatic macroinvertebrates living in our rivers, creeks and wetlands. Macroinvertebrates are best sampled during spring and autumn, where students will have the opportunity to discover these wonderful and important lesser-known creatures. Macroinvertebrates are animals without backbones (invertebrates) that are ('macro') visible with the naked eye and include insects, worms, snails, crustaceans, water mites and more.
These aquatic ‘mini beasts’ play a significant role in the health of our local freshwater rivers, creeks and wetlands and are useful indicators of stream health. Macroinvertebrates form an important part of the food chain and are essential for a healthy ecosystem. Many of these aquatic invertebrates are sensitive to even quite mild pollutants or changes in water quality. By investigating the types of macroinvertebrates present in the stream, students can learn to identify macroinvertebrates to Order, and family level, by using classification keys and charts.
The diversity and abundance of macroinvertebrates in the waterway enables students to determine a SIGNAL (Stream Index Grade Number Average Level) score, providing an indicative measure of the ecological health of the river, creek or wetland habitats being sampled. These results provide a snapshot of waterway condition, and help give the community and river health managers a broader understanding of waterway health.

Habitat assessments

The river environment, including both riparian (adjacent to the river itself) and aquatic zones, provides important habitat for many aquatic and terrestrial species, including fish, frogs, invertebrates, platypus, native water rats, and birds. Both in-stream and riparian habitat assessments are important Waterwatch activities and are a great way for students and community groups to gain an appreciation of the physical environment and how human activities can impact on river condition. 

Frog Census

The Waterwatch Coordinator can train students to identify the main frogs within the Merri and Moonee Ponds catchments, and then use the Melbourne Water Frog Census app to record and upload frog census information. All data is then available for all users of the app and is also loaded periodically onto the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas

Litter surveys and Stormwater Education

Litter and other pollutants entering our waterways via the stormwater system is a major problem for the health of local waterways across the Port Phillip and Western Port Catchments. Litter, leaves, grass clippings, soil, cigarette butts, dog droppings, garden fertiliser, car washing detergent, petrol, oil and grease from roadways can all get washed into the stormwater system and end up polluting local waterways and eventually our bays and local beaches.
Waterwatch actively encourages the implementation of stormwater awareness and management programs across the region. Students can become actively involved in this program in a variety of ways. Drain stencilling and litter surveys (both in the school grounds, within the local neighbourhood, and down at the waterway) helps to educate the wider community and provides valuable information regarding pollutants entering our waterways via the stormwater system. Students are encouraged to discuss and develop strategies to address this issue and reduce the threat of stormwater litter. Students can work on source reduction plans using data collated through our litter citizen science program.

IMG 0291Other resources available to Tertiary Institutions