Rivers of Carbon – Source Water Linkages

We work with landholders to manage riparian areas for improved water quality, stock health and sustainable farm management in Sydney water catchments.

We are currently looking to partner with more landholders – please get in touch if you’re interested!

This region was an important meeting place, which means that it wasn’t just inhabited by one particular Aboriginal group, but had many.  We recognise the Mulwaree, Wollondilly, Wiradjuri, Gundungurra, Dharrook, Tharawal, Tarlo, Pajong, Parramarragoo, Cookmal, Burra Burra, Lachlan and Ngunawal people.  We acknowledge 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.

Adapted from: Welcome to Country & Acknowledgement of Country – Creative Spirits
River Dreaming image (right). Artist: Richie Allen (Ngunnawal/Kamilaroi), Traditional Aboriginal Owners Corporation.

About the Source Water Linkages Project

Rivers of Carbon – Source Water Linkages commenced in 2017 and 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 (see project area map below) encompassing Braidwood, Goulburn and the Southern Highlands, where we are working with landholders 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 unique to the Rivers of Carbon Program (read more here) and follows these key steps:


If you’re interested, we visit your property and develop a project plan with you for your riparian area that may involve fencing, small-scale erosion works and revegetation. Our projects offer a range of site-level incentives to help landholders plant native vegetation, fence out stock, organise alternative stock water points, and build small-scale erosion control to rehabilitate the land.


Once we agree on key outcomes, and it fits within our Rivers of Carbon objectives, we bring it together in a straightforward and easy-to-follow Management Agreement that both parties sign.


We then assist you in planning and undertaking the works. 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 support from 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.

Project Area

This map shows the sub-catchments covered by the Rivers of Carbon – Source Water Linkages Project. If you are a landholder in this area and are interested, please get in touch.

Progress achieved so far:

Working across 66 properties

80kms+ of riparian area fenced

36,000+ natives planted

420 ha of riparian area protected

Hear from our landholders

Felicity Wheelwright on ‘Why regenerative farming helps our waterways’

This episode is recorded on the banks of the Wollondilly River, only two kilometres downstream of its headwaters. Felicity is a fourth-generation regenerative farmer in the Crookwell region and one of our Rivers of Carbon restoration champions, restoring water quality in Sydney’s water catchment. Felicity’s farm is holistically grazed and over the last 30 years, her family has undertaken a plethora of restoration projects to protect and restore her property, including planting a 17 kilometre long native tree corridor. Felicity also has a background in banking and business improvement strategies and is blending this together with her experience in farming to talk to us today about the benefits of holistic grazing and regenerative agriculture.

Property: Merigan Farms

Merigan Farms is a 850 hectare property located between Tarago and Bungendore in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, where owner Tim De Mestre operates a sheep and cattle operation. Rivers of Carbon worked with Tim to fence off the riparian areas with large buffers above the riverbank, particularly at northern side of river and eastern end of site. Over the last four years, Tim has continued fencing and planting of a number of native species to increase biodiversity.

View Progress

Property: Pylara Woodlawn Farms

Pylara Woodlawn Farms is a 6000 hectare property located near Tarago in New South Wales, and are working with Rivers of Carbon – Source Water Linkages to ensure the land and waterways they own are well-managed, and achieving both environmental and economic outcomes. Alex Djikic is the farm manager and together, we have been working to protect and restore two sites, Crisps Creek and Duck Flat, both part of the important Mulwaree River system.

View Progress

Property: Hazelee

Hazelee is a 130 hectare property near Mount Fairy, New South Wales. Fairy Meadow Creek and its associated wetlands are important breeding grounds and drought refuge for Australian birds, with the ‘chain of ponds’ an important wetland feature that is irregularly spaced along the valley floor, where the alluvial sediments that make up the landform are regularly saturated, creating conditions that support a dense ‘meadow’ of moisture loving grasses, sedges and rushes.

View Progress

Property: Tirranna

This 5,000 acre property with one of the last remaining ‘chain-of-ponds’ systems, is just outside of Goulburn, NSW and includes a 17.8 acre riparian project area, with 2km stretching along the Mulwaree River. Rivers of Carbon is working closely with the Gibson family to restore this property which now has cropping country and a beautiful native riparian corridor that is home to many waterfowl and other species.

View Progress

Property: Lockyersleigh

The ‘Lockyersleigh’ property covers 3,500 hectares, and is one of the largest landholdings in the Goulburn region of New South Wales. Over the past two decades property owner, Matt Onions, has undertaken riparian restoration projects in partnerships with multiple organisations, including Rivers of Carbon, to farm productively whilst also protecting biodiversity and reducing erosion.

View Progress

Property: Wongajong

This 150 acre site is located just out of Goulburn, NSW and includes a 1.5km stretch of the Wollondilly River. Rivers of Carbon is working with the property owners Margaret and Nagy to reverse the damage along the bank from cattle grazing, lift biodiversity and groundcover in the area, and protect it from erosion.

View Progress

Join Rivers of Carbon – Source Water Linkages

Our Sydney Source Water Linkages Program is looking to partner with landholders that manage livestock. If your property is within the select regions, please contact Lori to discuss how we can work together.

For more information, please download the program brochure.

Lori Gould
Program Manager
Phone: 0439 030 058

If you prefer, you can complete the form below and we will give you a call:

    Resource Library

    If you found the above listed guides and resources helpful, check out our full resource library, packing with information across all aspects of managing riparian areas.

    View Resource Library

    Informational Events

    Rivers of Carbon runs in-person and online events to showcase the amazing work being delivered in partnership with landholders and to help explain what we do.

    View Upcoming and Past Events

    Keep in touch

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    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.