Inner West Council

Catchments, Rivers and Waterways

A catchment is the area of land that drains into a canal, creek or river system. In a catchment, all rain and run-off water eventually flows to a creek, river, lake or ocean, or into the groundwater system.

We all live, work and play in catchments, and it is important to remember that our actions can have an impact on a waterway, even if it is several kilometres away. For instance, rain falling in our catchment will collect pollutants such as oil, litter and pesticides, and through the stormwater system these pollutants will end up in our creeks, rivers and the ocean. See the Stormwater Pollution page for more information.

The Ashfield Local Government Area lies within two catchments, the Parramatta River Catchment (97%) and the Cooks River Catchment (3%). This means that any rain that falls in the suburbs of Ashfield, Summer Hill, Croydon, Ashbury and Haberfield will eventually drain to one of these rivers.


Do you know which water catchment you live in?

Ashfield LGA - Water Catchments (click to enlarge)Click here to find out.






Working Towards Healthier Waterways

Ashfield Council is a member of the Cooks River Alliance and the Parramatta River Catchment Group, which are comprised of representatives from local councils and from State Government agencies. The purpose of these groups is to facilitate and coordinate improvements to these rivers and their catchments.

Click on the links below to find out more about Ashfield Council's local waterways and what Council and State Government are doing to protect them:  



Around 97% of the Ashfield Council area drains to the Parramatta River catchment via our stormwater pipes and infrastructure. To help improve the health of this catchment, Council is an active member of the Parramatta River Catchment Group, a regional organisation of local councils, state agencies and community representatives.

Council recently adopted the Parramatta River Estuary Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) which seeks to consider the estuary as a whole, identify priority issues, and set out a management strategy for implementation by the key stakeholders. The Parramatta River Estuary Coastal Zone Management Plan has been certified by the Minister for Planning in accordance with Section 55G of the Coastal Protection Act 1979 and will soon be published in the NSW Government Gazette. It is now a legislated long term Plan for the Parramatta River estuary,which guides councils and other major land owners in collectively managing the health of this important and iconic waterway. Click here for more information about this Plan and to download a copy.

The Hawksbury-Nepean Catchment Management Authority is leading a project to develop a Sydney Harbour Catchment Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP). The development of this Plan has partnership support from Ashfield Council, other local councils and government agencies which manage land draining into Sydney Harbour.

This partnership between 8 councils in the Cooks River catchment is focusing on the long-term improvement of the Cooks River. It commenced in October 2011 and follows the successful OurRiver - Cooks River Sustainability Initiative (CRSI) grant-funded project that finished on 30 May 2011.

The Cooks River Portal includes an extensive range of information on the Cooks river environment, including history, Cooks River Catchment Management Strategy, Cooks River Stormwater Management Plan, Cooks River Environmental Assessment and Education Program (CREAP), Cooks River Foreshores Working Group, community groups, seeds store, Cooks River images exhibition, reports and resources.