Our catchment not only collects and stores the clean water we drink. It also contains our natural assets - the flora, fauna, soil and water - our life support systems which enable us to produce the food we eat and the clothes we wear and help clean the air we breathe. As a community, we need to recognise that those natural assets are vital for our future and we need to make changes now to preserve them.
Concern about catchment health is a recognition that both urban and rural residents need to leave smaller footprints on the land. Most people want to leave the land in as good or better condition for generations to come. That’s not new. What is new are the challenges facing our countryside: an increasing population, development of rural areas and climate change. These challenges mean that many practices are no longer sustainable because they do not fit with our new understanding of the value and management needs of our natural assets.
Conservation and restoration are now under way in rural and urban areas of our catchment. It’s a huge job because the land needs help in so many different ways but as a community we can make a huge impact. There are many ways to sustain the health of the catchment, such as protecting our native vegetation, planting, retaining groundcover and controlling invasive species. These all contribute to the restoration of the bushland, grasslands, wetlands and river environments. This also makes economic sense and improves our quality of life.