At the time of our 2003 audit agencies were unable to measure the water quality in NSW rivers as they had not established a comprehensive and ongoing monitoring system for water quality. Agencies are now developing a monitoring system to measure the progress against the State Plan 2006 target to improve the condition of riverine ecosystems by 2015. It may not be possible to identify an overall trend in the condition of riverine ecosystems by the State Plan target date of 2015. This is because riverine ecosystems do not respond rapidly to change in the environment. A long period of time is required to collect sufficient data to establish a baseline for all indicators being used and to determine trends, particularly given the prolonged drought.
Parliamentary reference - Report number #180 - released 21 May 2008