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Play Catchment Detox

The challenge is to manage a river catchment so that after 100 years you have a healthy economy and a healthy environment.

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Water has long been an issue for Australia. The continent has one of the most variable rainfall climates in the world, and typically receives only three good years of rainfall out of every ten.

On top of this variability, we now have to contend with the possibility that the rainfall pattern is permanently changing. Over the past 50 years there's been an increase in rainfall in the northwest of the continent and decrease in much of eastern Australia and the far southwest.

It's now more important than ever to be thoughtful about how we use the water that does fall in our catchments.

Modelling how water behaves within a catchment is a complex science, and no two catchments are alike. Different topographies and different soils can make a huge difference to the impact any particular activity will have.

Catchment Detox is a game set in a hypothetical river catchment.  While not based upon any particular river system, it is intended to illustrate some of the broader principles that are common to many Australian catchments, and in particular the variability of rainfall (Catchment Detox is based upon actual rainfall data), and the threat from salinity.

The model behind the game was developed  by Nick Marsh, Sylvain Arene and Stuart Minchin in a collaboration between the CSIRO Division of Land and Water and the eWater Cooperative Research Centre.

Our software partner was the Moon Communications Group.

Catchment Detox was based upon an original idea by Natural Resource Management advisor Tim Stubbs and consultant Lucy Broad.

ABC Catchment Detox