Catchment

The area covered by Western Landcare NSW is commonly referred to as the Western Catchment or the Western Region and is the largest of the catchments in NSW, covering an area of 314,000km or 40% of the state.  It is larger than Victoria and Tasmania put together.  Despite it's vast size, the Western Catchment is the least densely populated.  From the total population of approximately 42,000 people, around 18,500 live in the City of Broken Hill.  Throughout the Catchment Aboriginal people make up approximately 13% of the population with 16 Aboriginal language groups having been identified.

Throughout the Western Catchment, rainfall is extremely variable.  To the north of the Catchment, it is the summer rains that are dominant and in the southern end winter rainfall dominates.  Throughout the western part of the Catchment (Broken Hill), the average rainfall hovers around 250mm.  The further east you travel, the higher the rainfall with Collarenebri averaging around 500mm.

The Western Catchment is an extremely diverse, semi-arid Rangeland that supports a myriad of communities including those that utilise grazing, dryland and irrigated agriculture, mining & tourism.

Approximately 95% of the Western Catchment remains uncleared.  The condition of the landscape as a whole is quite variable due to the impacts of Total Grazing Pressure (TGP) and changes to fire regimes.  Vegetation ranges from chenopod shrublands in the far west to northern mulga woodlands and brigalow gidgee in the north to mallee and murray pine woodlands in the south.  The central part of the Western Catchment encompasses bimble box woodlands and the north east boats coolibah blackbox floodplains.  Invasive native scrub is a vegetation issue that many landholders are mindful of and understand that it is a major vegetation issue to be managed for now and into the future.

Pest management in the Western Catchment is also a major issue, with control programs being undertaken for dogs, foxes, goats, pigs, cats and rabbits.  In many areas, pest animals threaten agricultural productivity, groundcover, native plants and animals and present a threat to Biosecurity.