Erina Riparian Assessment

Project outline

This project for Gosford City Council required an assessment of riparian areas within the study area for Council’s Erina Environmental Investigations Project.

Council commenced exploring options for Erina in 2012 to provide an indication of the capability of land in the study area for urban and non-urban uses. Land use options are to be guided by a number of studies including this riparian assessment.

The riparian assessment required desktop assessment of available GIS data, field survey using Differential GPS to map top of bank, rapid riparian assessment (RRA) conducted at 50 sites in the study area, mapping of Strahler stream order and associated riparian buffer widths.

Our role

    • Desktop assessment of available GIS data including hydrology, topography, vegetation communities and aerial photography
    • Field survey planning including design of a suitable Rapid Riparian Assessment technique, and landholder access arrangements
    • Survey of ‘top of bank’ using differential GPS for submetre accuracy
    • Rapid Riparian Assessment undertaken at 50 randomly selected sites within the study area
    • Mapping of Strahler Stream Order and associated riparian buffer widths according to NSW Office of Water Guidelines
    • Consultation with NSW Office of Water and input to draft mapping and report
    • Finalisation of riparian corridor mapping and brief report, which includes methodology, results and discussion of planning principles for riparian land within the study area


The hydrology data provided was based on 1:25,000 topographic mapping which in many instances was no longer correct due to land use changes in the study area, and landholder access was difficult in some cases, requiring extrapolation of adjacent field data for mapping purposes.


Niche successfully completed riparian assessment, mapping and planning for the Erina study area. Consultations with NSW Office of Water will now ensure that future planning for the Erina study area in accordance with proposed riparian planning controls will meet the requirements of NSW Office of Water.

Erina Riparian Assessment - map