Seven DustWatch gauges (Dustrak) have been installed within the Lachlan Catchment. Two gauges have been operating since 2005 (at Condobolin and Ivanhoe) as part of the state-wide dust monitoring program. Five additional guages were set up the Lachlan in 2007 at Hillston, Parkes, Cowra, Temora and West Wyalong. These gauges are maintained by either Landholders or by CMA staff depending on location.
At DustWatch guages, dust concentration measurements are taken every 1 minute. The data from these gauges are transmitted to the dustwatch team within DECCW for collation & analysis. The dustwatch team also circulate a weekly report from this data about dust conditions across the catchment.
241 sites along 1500km of transect across the catchment are surveyed twice a year. At each site, observations of groundcover, wind and water erosion, land use and land management practice are recorded as well as a photo of the site. Data from these surveys are able to be compared from survey-to-survey and year-to-year enabling a record of changes over time.
Erosion is modelled by DECCW for the entire catchment from the data obtained at both the DustWatch gauges and the roadside survey sites. The Lachlan CMA are able to utilise this information as part of their Monitoring Evaluation Reporting and Improvement (MERI) program as an indication of the condition of the catchments natural resources. The Lachlan CMA can also utilise this information to better target geographic areas for support and investment and to guide the type of support and investment required.