The Independent Science Panel has established an Ecosystem Health Index (EHI) by selecting priority aquatic indicators that are suitable for use for river health. Each indicator has a set of benchmarks representing a scale from excellent to poor (A-E grades). These benchmarks are compared to data using formulas and then weighted and averaged to provide a whole of catchment score and grade.

The Independent Science Panel has worked to ensure that the EHI is based on best available science, is locally relevant and reflects the indicators that are most appropriate for picking up changes to freshwater and estuary condition. In doing so, the Independent Science Panel have reflected on what existing waterway health monitoring programs are trying to achieve.

Freshwater and Estuary reporting areas, the Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program for freshwaters was used as a starting point for EHI development and then modified with tailored indicators, thresholds and weightings to better suit local conditions. For more information please refer to the program design on our website, as it outlines the Freshwater and Estuary EHI in much greater detail.