Rivers of Carbon – Source Water Linkages

Gundungurra Country

We are honoured to work on the ancestral lands of the Gundungurra people, and we recognise their continuing connection with, and knowledge about, land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.
Source: Welcome to Country & Acknowledgement of Country – Creative Spirits

Volunteers at our National Tree Day planting site in Baw Baw. Photo credit: Andrew Lowes.

“Water is the most critical resource issue of our lifetime and our children’s lifetime. The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land.”

– Luna Leopold, Hydrologist

Project Purpose:

Rivers of Carbon – Source Water Linkages is a partnership between Rivers of Carbon and WaterNSW to protect and restore river and riparian areas in Sydney’s water catchments. This is a large area encompassing Braidwood, Goulburn and the Southern Highlands. We are seeking 60 landholders who are keen to manage their rivers, creeks, wetlands or ponds to reduce erosion, improve water quality, stabilise banks and boost biodiversity through revegetation. Managing stock is central to our on-ground work, so fencing and off stream watering are also key strategies we develop with landholders.

Our approach is to work with landholders to achieve a range of objectives. We visit your property and work with you to develop a plan for your riparian area that may involve fencing, small-scale erosion works and revegetation. Once we agree with you about what you want to achieve, and it fits within our Rivers of Carbon objectives, we will bring it together in a ten year Greening Australia Management Agreement that both parties sign. These Agreements are straight forward, common sense and easy to follow. We will then assist you in planning and undertaking the works. We generally cover at least half of the costs involved in implementing the Management Agreement, with the landholder also contributing cash and in-kind support.

In addition to getting works done on your place, you become part of our Rivers of Carbon community with access to workshops, field days and our friendly team. We believe that looking after our ‘social capital’ which is made up of people, relationships and networks, is just as important as our ‘natural capital’ which are the rivers, streams and wetlands we want to restore.

Source Water Linkages Project Area

Source: Angela Calliess, Greening Australia

Project Timeline:

2018 - 2021

Outcomes achieved so far:

24 landholders involved

Working across 25 sites

33kms of riparian area fenced

142.8ha of riparian area protected

Planting of 12,310 plants

4 activities, 250+ people engaged

Extended project: Rivers of Carbon Mulwaree

Rivers of Carbon Mulwaree is an extension of our Rivers of Carbon Source Water Linkages project funded by our partners WaterNSW. The project was developed in recognition of the importance of the Mulwaree Ponds region, and the need for a smaller, targeted effort working with a few landholders to protect and restore this valuable chain of ponds system. You can read more about Mulwaree by following this link.

River Styles Short Course 2019 class presenting at Mulwaree Ponds at Kelburn. Photo credit: Kirstie Fryirs.

WaterNSW, in partnership with the Australian River Restoration Centre is serious about sharing knowledge to support landholders wanting to better manage their riparian areas. Working together we have developed several products that translate the science of waterway management into practical and accessible tools:

Stock and Waterways:

As part of the Source Water Linkages project, the Stock and Waterways guide was updated in conjunction with farmers and practitioners in different parts of New South Wales to improve the on-farm management of riparian land. The guide is based on the principle that riparian land forms an important part of the entire farm, and should be managed taking into account its special needs. Both a print edition and website were produced to allow ease of accessibility.

“Thank you for creating such a fantastic resource that is easy to understand and shows practical solutions. I have no doubt it will be a useful tool for our teams to drive landholders to for greater understanding.”

– Kurt Laboyrie, Soil Conservation Service

Buffers Sponges and Moderators:

Project Updates:


Get Involved:

We have a flyer you can download for more information, as well as an Expression of Interest form you are welcome to take a look at and complete. You can also contact Ben Hanrahan or Lori Gould to have a chat, their details are below.

Ben Hanrahan, Greening Australia:
✉️bhanrahan@greeningaustralia.org.au
📞0491 221 157

Lori Gould, RoC Program Manager:
✉️lori.gould@arrc.com.au
📞0439 030 058

If you would like to keep up to date with our work then please subscribe to the Australian River Restoration Centre’s free e-newsletter below as this will advertise any upcoming activities.


Our work is being funded through our partnership with WaterNSW. We also work closely with South-east Local Land Services who offer support for broader landscape and erosion issues through their Rural Landscapes Program.