Audits of Sydney Water Catchment


The independent catchment audit report is direct to the responsible minister.  It is designed to protect the health of the Sydney catchment to ensure reliable, quality drinking water for five million people of Sydney and the Illawarrra, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, Goulburn and Shoalhaven regions. The audit seeks to understand land use, businesses, industries, community groups, and public authorities within the catchment – all of whose actions can affect water quality.

The Task

The audits analyse the current state of the catchment and identified critical factors that will deliver the greatest impact to improve water quality, as well as key players and their interrelationship within the broader political environment.  As a lead in this audit, Cobalt59 worked with a wide range of stakeholders across all levels of government and the community to gather broad ranging data.  We then worked to coordinate the analysis and the production of the final report.

The Result

The reported outcomes are always subject to interpretation. The audit gave recommendations relating to mine planning, appropriate water licencing, and the regulation of those licences, and broader recommendations relating to the catchment in general.  

The audits have supported WaterNSW in closely examining and interrogating estimation methodologies and results submitted by various industries and developments in predicting impact. The audits have also led to the establishment of  the Independent Expert Panel on Mining in the Catchments (IEPMC).   Additional the audits have supported WaterNSW in reversing land degradation resulting from overgrazing and uncontrolled stock access to riparian zones. Additionally, WaterNSW has provided substantial funds to assist in the upgrade of the sewage treatment plants at Wallerawang, Lithgow, Bundanoon, Goulburn and Bowral.    

If you have a particular situation you would like to discuss, please get in touch.

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