The Department of Environment and Primary Industries developed an Index of Wetland Condition (IWC) in November 2005 for use in Victoria. The IWC measures aspects of the wetland’s soils, water, plants and the wetland catchment. The method is designed for naturally-occurring wetlands without a marine hydrological influence. The development of the IWC and its measures (indicators) are explained in the report: IWC - Conceptual framework and selection of measures.
The wetland plant component of the IWC can also be used as a stand-alone method for assessing wetland vegetation condition. The method is based on a classification system that includes 144 wetland plant classes known as Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVCs). The method and EVCs are described in the report: IWC - Assessment of wetland vegetation. Update – December 2012
[MS Word Document - 5.3 MB]. This replaces earlier versions of the report published in November 2005, March 2006 and September 2009. The benchmark descriptions of the IWC EVCs for wetland vegetation assessment are provided below. These are ordered by EVC number.
Other methods for assessing the condition of wetlands and streams are described in the report: IWC - Review of wetland assessment methods. The review summarises wetland assessment methods reported in the literature from Australia and overseas and highlights examples of how aspects of wetland assessment and monitoring have been undertaken that have most relevance to Victoria. Information on recent wetland assessment programs in Victoria and overseas is also encompassed. The review describes wetland assessment concepts and definitions, existing assessment and monitoring programs and examines indicators for assessing wetland condition.
The IWC has undergone testing to determine if it measures condition consistently between different users, at different wetland types and at wetlands that range from very poor to excellent condition. Results are documented in this report: IWC - Training Information Management and Testing. The IWC was modified slightly in 2008 following the testing and a data management system developed to store and manage IWC data.
An IWC wetland base maps tool produced wetland maps used with the IWC method. The maps may also be useful for other purposes.
Statewide assessment of wetland condition - 2009/10DEPI coordinated an assessment of the condition (health) of approximately 600 high value wetlands of regional, national and international significance across the state using the IWC method between October 2009 and April 2010. A report summarising the results at the statewide scale is provided below. Results for the individual wetlands on public land can be viewed on the map and in the table below.
To obtain information on the condition of the wetland assessed on your property, please contact your Catchment Management Authority (CMA)
IWC Reports and Results for Individual Wetlands on Public Land.
Report - Index of Wetland Condition 2009/10 - Statewide assessment of Victoria’s high value wetlands
[PDF File - 914.2 KB]
Report - Index of Wetland Condition 2009/10 - Statewide assessment of Victoria’s high value wetlands (accessible)
[MS Word Document - 2.3 MB]
Results of IWC assessments of high value wetlands on public land 2009/10
[PDF File - 180.3 KB]
Results of IWC assessments of high value wetlands on public land 2009/10 (accessible)
[MS Word Document - 1.0 MB]
Map showing IWC Assessments Sites for High Value Wetlands on Public Land 2009/10
[Image - 371.3 KB]
Statewide assessment of wetland condition - 2010/11Wetland condition assessments using the IWC method at 242 wetlands in Victoria were undertaken between November 2010 and April 2011. Sites were randomly selected from broad wetland types from 12,000 naturally occurring non-marine influenced wetlands across the state. Results from the assessments are currently being complied into a report which will be published on this site. These assessments will improve our understanding of wetland condition across the state and help CMAs better target government programs and funding which can assist land managers with wetland management.
For more information on these assessments, please contact the CMA representative in your region.
IWC Conceptual Framework and Selection of Measures
[PDF File - 908.0 KB]
IWC reports and Ecological Vegetation Class (EVC) benchmarks
IWC Review of wetland assessment methods
[PDF File - 523.4 KB]
IWC Assessment of Wetland Vegetation Update December 2012 (Word document)
[MS Word Document - 5.1 MB]
IWC Assessment of Wetland Vegetation Update December 2012 (pdf format)
[PDF File - 4.5 MB]
IWC Training Information Management and Testing
[PDF File - 2.4 MB]
IWC Wetland EVC Benchmarks November 2010
[PDF File - 2.8 MB]
IWC EVC Photo Guide Second Edition
Descriptions and photographs of IWC EVCs have been complied into a guide to assist the identification of EVCs for IWC and wetland vegetation assessments. The second edition of the guide includes many additional photos. This edition will be available from the Information Victoria Bookshop in late 2011/early 2012..
IWC use and further information
Currently the IWC is being used by DEPI and Catchment Management Authorities as a tool to assist wetland management. The IWC is not currently available for broader use.
For more information on the IWC, statewide assessment program and the use of the IWC, contact Janet.Holmes@dse.vic.gov.au.
Document(s) on this page are presented in PDF format. If you do not have the Adobe Reader, you can download a copy free from the Adobe web site