Monitoring waterbugs is extremely useful for assessing the condition of our local creeks. This is because waterbugs are very easy to catch with simple equipment and they vary in their sensitivity to pollutants

Georges Riverkeeper monitors waterbugs in the creeks that flow into the Georges River, as a component of the River Health Program. These results are reported in Georges Riverkeeper's River Health Report Cards and other publications.

In creeks that flow through urban areas we typically only find those waterbugs that are tolerant - to very tolerant - of pollution, including dragonfly nymphs, true bugs like backswimmers, snails, worms and leeches.

This contrasts with the high diversity that we find in forested streams, which can support both the waterbugs that are tolerant of pollution and those that are sensitive or very sensitive to pollution, including mayfly nymphs, dragonfly larvae, caddisfly larvae, beetles and waterpennies.