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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

Nation Gears Up for Water Week

19 October 1997

Salinity control in Western Australia, catchment tours and river walks in Tasmania and Victoria and a National Kids' Congress for Catchment Care in South Australia are among the many activities planned for National Water Week.

Other activities include an Internet game for school children called Murder Under the Microscope, organised by Waterwatch Australia in NSW, and water monitoring by schoolchildren in Queensland, the ACT and the Northern Territory.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill says National Water Week gives governments, community groups and industry the opportunity to highlight their achievements in working towards healthier, cleaner waterways.

"Many of the activities aim at encouraging school children to take part in activities that help protect their environment.

"The major event for National Water Week is the National Snapshot where 50 000 people from Waterwatch Australia networks across the country monitor water quality.

"The results give a snapshot of the health of our waterways.

"Undertaken in many places by school children, the snapshot involves water sampling to test turbidity and to measure the level of macroinvertebrates, or bugs, in the water.

"The turbidity, or cloudiness of the water, and the number of bugs it contains gives a good indication of the health of our rivers and waterways.

"Healthy waterways mean healthy bugs; few bugs can live in cloudy, polluted water."

Environment Australia will distribute nationally Snapshot 97, a publication which highlights Waterwatch achievements of the past year.

Matt Brown, (Senator Hill) 0419 693 515; 02 6277 7640

Commonwealth of Australia