Waterway condition refers to the state of the processes that underpin waterway health and support the key values.
Improvements in waterway condition can improve the values that are supported by the waterways. Rivers, estuaries and wetlands each have a different set of conditions that support their specific values. The conditions that are considered and measurable in the Strategy can be grouped into nine condition categories.
It can take a long time to see changes in some conditions
Condition targets are set with a 50-year outlook. Some conditions measures can take many years to be realised and others can change quickly in response to on-ground actions. For instance, it takes many years of planting seedlings over a large area to result in enough shade to achieve a measurable change in water temperature along a waterway or reduce urban heat across a catchment. Removing a fish barrier however will improve habitat connectivity for fish as soon as the project is completed.
All Healthy Waterways Strategy actions aim to improve waterway condition
The actions identified through the performance objectives in the strategy aim to improve waterway condition to better support the waterway values. The progress to performance objectives is tracked in the annual Report Card. Data to inform our understanding of the condition of waterways is collected throughout the 10-year life of the strategy. Conditions will be assessed at mid-term and near the end of the strategy to understand how our actions and other influences are impacting on the conditions. Even though actions can take time to improve waterway conditions we do expect to see changes in some condition over the life of the strategy.