What is Catchment Detox?
It’s an online game where the player manages a virtual river catchment. The game goes for 100 turns and you make as many changes to the landscape as you like (you can also do none!) before taking your next turn. The aim is to create an environmentally happy catchment with a sustainable and thriving economy.
See How to play for more information on how to play the game.
What requirements do I need to play it?
A computer with the internet connected and Flash 9 installed.
What are the values in the game? What does it teach?
Catchment Detox gives a first-hand experience of how difficult it is to manage our river catchments. Some of the key messages in the game are:-
- The Catchment Ecosystem – What happens in one part of a catchment can affect the rest of the catchment. Taking water out of the river for irrigation means that downstream industry and environment is affected.
- Water Planning - Australia has a variable climate which means there is often low rainfall so it’s important to prepare for that by building weirs and dams to store water and/or by introducing water restrictions when needed.
- A Healthy Environment - Looking after the environment (water quality, biodiversity and making sure there is enough water for the environment) is important. But not just for its own sake: it’s vital to ensure the future sustainability of our rivers and land so we can maintain viable agriculture, industrial and tourism sectors.
- Producing Food - it’s important to produce food for the population, otherwise we need to import food which is both expensive and unsustainable.
- Best Practice Agriculture – using ‘environmentally-friendly’ options for agriculture can markedly reduce the impacts of agriculture on the environment.
- Research – spending money on research to gain a better understanding of how things work can generate big benefits for the environment and the economy.
Is the science behind it correct?
Catchment Detox is based on a model developed by CSIRO Division of Land and Water and e-water Co-operative Research Centre. Modelling the impact of activities in a catchment is complex science. While Catchment Detox is a game and not a scientific model, it is based on today’s scientific understanding of water and catchment management issues.
See About for more details.
Is there a schools' prize?
How do I get up to speed?
How to Play - for a quick tutorial on how the game works.
Other Resources - loads more information about catchments.
FAQ – answers to frequently asked questions.
Play the game – have a go yourself. Once you’re playing the game read the ‘Game Help’ for more information about the game and how the scoring works.
How do I get my class to play?
There are three ways you could get your class to play Catchment Detox:
- As an individual – each student plays by themself. Expect the game to take up to an hour each. However, the game can also be saved halfway through. Make sure your students enter the competition 'as a school' rather than 'as an individual' so they go in the draw to win the school prize, rather than the individual prize.
- As small groups – allocate 2-3 students to a group and let them make the decisions themselves. One person could be advocating for the environment, another for industry and agriculture, and a third for tourism. At the end of the game, they enter the competition as a school.
- As a class – play the game over several lessons and use the game to discuss issues about land and catchment management. Note: you will need either a projected image of the game, or a class small enough to sit around one computer. In each lesson, play an allocated number of turns depending on how many lessons you want the game to run over. The game runs for 100 turns, so if you want to finish the game in two lessons, do 50 turns each lesson. Alternatively, you could do 20 turns over five lessons. At the start of each session, note your score, environmental health, population and cash available and compare your scores at the end of the session to see how you’ve gone. At the end of the game, enter the competition as a school.