Hornsby Wins NSW Green Globe Award in Pub­lic Sec­tor Lead­er­ship

Monthly Chronicle - - Front Page -

Hawkes­bury Watch is a pro­gram unique to Aus­tralian es­tu­ar­ies and is re­ceiv­ing na­tional and in­ter­na­tional in­ter­est. It was de­vel­oped by Hornsby Shire Coun­cil's en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­en­tists who were try­ing to find an al­ter­na­tive and in­no­va­tive way to sam­ple wa­ter qual­ity.

The sys­tem they de­vel­oped uses re­mote mon­i­tor­ing buoys which col­lect real-time in­for­ma­tion on wa­ter con­di­tions in the Hawkes­bury River. The buoys are per­ma­nently moored in the es­tu­ary be­tween Wise­mans Ferry and Bro­ken Bay col­lect­ing wa­ter qual­ity data ev­ery 15 min­utes. The six probes take a range of mea­sure­ments, in­clud­ing tem­per­a­ture, salin­ity, chloro­phyll-a and tur­bid­ity. Res­i­dents can now be as­sured that out­breaks of al­gal bloom are no­ti­fied more quickly. An al­gal bloom oc­curs when one par­tic­u­lar type (species) of al­gae grows much more quickly than other species. This can cause dis­coloura­tion of the wa­ter or a re­duc­tion in the lev­els of dis­solved oxy­gen (which can cause fish kills). Some species of al­gae can also pro­duce tox­ins that can be harm­ful to fish, birds and hu­mans.

The com­mu­nity can ac­cess the data from the buoys through Coun­cil's web­site, al­low­ing res­i­dents, fish­ers and vis­i­tors to stay in­formed about swim­ming con­di­tions and the gen­eral health of the water­way. You can view the in­for­ma­tion at http:// www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/ hawkes­bury­watch.

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