Bugs key to waterway health

Bugs

During Autumn volunteers all over the ACT and region will check the health of our waterways by collecting and analysing bugs.

The Bug Blitz is conducted each year in both autumn and spring at over 90 sites, explained Woo O’Reilly, facilitator of the local community Waterwatch program.

“Bugs are one of the best indicators of water health. Aquatic macro-invertebrates—like dragonflies, mayflies, true bugs, water beetles, freshwater snails, back swimmers, leeches and midges—have differing levels of sensitivity to disturbance and pollution. Sampling the water and working out which bugs are thriving and which ones are missing tells us how healthy a particular waterway is,” said O’Reilly.

The results of the Bug Blitz –– in combination with regular year-round monitoring of water quality - provide a benchmark against which the ACT Government can measure the success of education and infrastructure projects.

Visit ACT Waterwatch to find out more about Bug Blitz and other Waterwatch programs.