What is the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment?

The Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment is one of the largest coastal basins in NSW and provides drinking water, recreational opportunities, agricultural and fisheries produce, as well as tourism resources for the Sydney Metropolitan area.

What rivers/waterways are in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment?

The catchment has many major rivers, including the Hawkesbury, Nepean, Wollondilly, Mulwaree, Tarlo, Wingecarribee, Nattai, Nepean, Coxs, Kowmung, Grose, Capertee, Colo and Macdonald.

What are the characteristics of the natural environment in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment?

The Catchment’s natural landscapes are incredibly varied and includes rainforests, open woodlands, heathlands, wetlands and highland freshwater streams leading to the magnificent Hawkesbury River estuary. Although many of these landscapes have been altered due to development and agriculture, almost half of the catchment is protected in national parks including the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and water catchment reserves.

What area does the Hawkesbury-Nepean River catchment cover?

The catchment is located on the coast of NSW and is 21,400 square kilometres in size, extending from Barrenjoey headland to the catchments for Warragamba, the Upper Nepean and the Mangrove Creek dams.

Why is Sydney Water doing this project?

Sydney Water wants to better understand community expectations for the Hawkesbury-Nepean waterway. We want to capture the local community values for river health and waterway use when making decisions on managing the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment area. We are also interested in understanding community perspectives on nutrient offset trading as a means to manage sustainable nutrient loading in the Hawkesbury-Nepean waterways.

How many Community Reference Groups will there be and where are they located?

We are planning to host 10 Community Reference Groups at the following locations across the catchment: ·  Picton ·  Richmond ·  Rouse Hill ·  West Camden ·  St Marys ·  South Maroota ·  Berowra ·  Penrith ·  Schofields ·  Oran Park
We will also host workshops with developers and indigenous land councils within the catchment.

What will we talk about at the Community Reference Groups?

The Community Reference Groups will allow us to explore the social, economic, environmental and cultural values associated with the river system.

Workshop one will focus on the values ascribed to the waterways, the impacts of growth and the regulatory framework for treatment and water quality.

Workshop two will examine community expectations for river health and explore options for addressing community values in early planning and decision-making. We will consider various options for managing water quality and identify regulatory constraints.

Workshop three will focus on managing community expectations and identify the preferred approach to managing waterway health.