Water for Life

We need water for life!

What are some actions we can take that ensure our water catchments are healthy and maintain good quality water supply?

Animals on benchEvery living thing depends on fresh, clean water for survival.

The health of our water supply – or catchment areas – is critical to a healthy planet and a healthy you.

What is a catchment?

“A catchment is the water flow from the top of a mountain and down to a valley and out to sea. It is also about the things that rely on it, like trees, animals and plants, and the people who live in it, and the things they do.” Josh, Grade 3, Margate Primary School.

A catchment is an area where water is collected by the natural landscape. In a catchment, all rain and run-off water eventually flows to a creek, river, lake or ocean, or into the groundwater system.

Natural and human systems such as rivers, bushland, farms, dams, homes, plants, animals, industry and people all co-exist in a catchment.

Google Map

Healthy catchments provide:

  • a source of clean drinking water
  • unspoilt natural areas for recreation
  • habitat for plants and animals
  • healthy vegetation and waterways
  • reliable and clean water for livestock and crop irrigation
  • opportunities for sustainable farming and industry

Our daily activities affect the health of our catchments. The first step in protecting them is to understand your impact on them.

Try this

You can add your photos and drawings to our catchment carers’ Google map – find out more.

Info flash:

“Australians have mainly focused on trying to dam and store the average 12% of rainfall that ends up in streams and rivers – however, the greater potential for efficiency lies in making better use and conservation of rain where it falls.” Innovations for Regenerative Landscape Management

Black sludge tankRiver Story

In Water for Life we did the ‘River Story’ interactive activity. Everyone had a different role to play in a story about travelling down a river. We heard what impact users had on the river and we added items to the fresh water in the aquarium as we listened to the story. It wasn’t a happy ending, with the river model looking like a black, oily mess as it headed out to the ocean.

From little things, big things grow!  As part of the Water for Life program students have caught and learned to identify aquatic insects, or water bugs.

Water bugs tell us a lot about the health of the waterway and are easy to find and interesting to identify. Visit The Waterbug for photos and some videos of water bugs.

Did you know, water bugs are the only animals on earth which are able to walk on water!

“I loved finding the insects and the messy river story.”  Year 4 student, Wynyard, Tasmania

Try this:

Look for water bugs in your local waterway. You will need a fish tank net, plastic bucket and magnifying glass. Always take care when near any waterway and remember to take an adult with you.

Sign up

Schools can register for Water for Life today.

More about Water:




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