Environmental Condition Grade
The Environmental Condition Grade is comprised of multiple indicators, assessing key freshwater and estuarine aspects of the waterways. Indicators are assessed against established guidelines and benchmarks, resulting in a single grade for each catchment or bay zone. The data are collected using an integration of computer modelling and field monitoring.
It assesses progress towards five key objectives:
- Restoring and maintaining key habitats (i.e. riparian vegetation) (New in 2015)
- Reducing pollutant loads (sediment and nutrients) entering waterways (New in 2015)
- Improving and maintaining water quality
- Restoring and maintaining key ecosystem processes
- Restoring and maintaining resilient and healthy aquatic communities (i.e. fish populations).
(A) Excellent: Conditions meet all guidelines. All key processes are functional and critical habitats are in near pristine condition.
(B) Good: Conditions meet guidelines for most of the reporting area. Most key processes are slightly impacted and most critical habitats are intact.
(C) Fair: Conditions are close to meeting guidelines in most of the reporting area. Key processes are impacted but still functional and critical habitats are impacted.
(D) Poor: Conditions meet few of the guidelines in most of the reporting area. Many key processes are not functional and most critical habitats are impacted.
(F) Fail: Conditions do not meet the set guidelines. Most key processes are not functional and most critical habitats are severely impacted.
How are the grades calculated?
The Environmental Condition Grade is comprised of multiple indicators. These are assessed against established guidelines and benchmarks. Scores are calculated using a combination of field monitoring data and computer modelling.