Community DustWatch provides continuous, objective data in partnership with the community. The Community DustWatch network is a partnership between the community and government to monitor regional dust levels. DustWatch Nodes (DWN) are sites equipped with dust monitoring instruments and managed by volunteers.
Community DustWatch produces:
Reporting tools – maps, statistics and imagery
Research - publications and information derived from the networks.
Education tools to raise awareness about land management issues.
The community DustWatch Nodes are run by the Community DustWatch team.
Visit the Community DustWatch webpage
Monitoring dust activity
Monitoring dust activity with instrumentation such as deposition traps and high volume air samplers has been occurring for about three decades. This monitoring has been sporadic due to the project nature of the work. The inception of Community DustWatch in 2002 and the establishment of the network of DustWatch Nodes in 2005 has greatly improved both the spatial and temporal scales of monitoring.
DustWatch Nodes monitor dust concentration of particles less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10) in the air every 15 minutes. If the dust concentrations is greater than 25ug per cubic metre, the sampling is every minute.
PM10 monitors that are maintained and operated by volunteer DustWatchers. There are currently 41 PM10 DustWatch Nodes operating. The PM10 data are sampled with DustTrak® sensors which are portable, battery-operated laser photometers which give real-time mass concentration within the particle-size range 0.1 – 10 µm.
Community DustWatch is coordinated by the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage. DustWatch would not be possible without funding from: Caring for our Country; Lachlan, Lower Murray Darling, Murrumbidgee and Murray CMAs in NSW; The Mallee CMA and North Central Catchment Management Authorities in Victoria; Department of Agriculture and Food WA, Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management in West Australia; and in-kind contributions from: Gwydir and Western CMAs in NSW; Eyre Peninsula and Murray Darling Basin NRMs in South Australian; and Griffith University in Queensland.
About Community DustWatch
The Community DustWatch team is led by NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. The Community DustWatch team monitor dust levels across Australia and provide regular reports and a report archive that are available online through the Office of Environment and Heritage (http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/dustwatch).
For more information, contact the project manager, Dr John Leys.