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.

DustWatch Nodes Network truck


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 external link

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 (


For more information, contact the project manager, Dr John Leys.

Published in Community DustWatch

Browse reports

Community DustWatch monitoring reports are produced monthly and recent report are available on the OEH web site at: and archive reports for 2009 and 2010 at

 View reports archive .



Subscribe to the reports by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



 For more information, contact the project manager, Dr John Leys.


This Community DustWatch web page is hosted by NSW OEH and can be found on OEH web site . There you will find general information about the Community DustWatch program and an archive of monthly monitoring reports.
We hope you will enjoy the web page and encourage you to give us feed back on the content and the layout so we can continue to develop the page and improve the service to you.

Published in Community DustWatch

Understand long-term trends

Use the map to identify the dustiest, or least dusty, years on record, from 1960 to 2011. Compare the dust levels to the annual rainfall timeline. Use the knowledge to strengthen your wind erosion and ground cover management planning.

Click to view map

FullscreenView our map:  My Dust History

Hover over a point to see data.
Click the point to read more.
in & out to explore Australia.


Recommended computer requirements:
1. Supported internet browsers: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari .   Internet Explorer is mostly compatible, although IE7 is no longer supported by MapBox and may experience minor glitches.
2. Update your internet browser. MapBox maps are best viewed on the latest version of your browser. Update my browser




Information About

The dust history is a record of how dusty it's been in the last 50 years. The graph shows the total annual number of dust event days recorded for each year (1960-2011). A Dust Event Day (DED) is a day where at least 1 dust event was recorded. For each year, the total number of DEDs possible is 365 days, although nowhere in Australia is dust that much of a problem! When viewed together as a timeline, you can see which years recorded a lot of dust, and which years were least dusty.

More long term patterns in wind erosion: Regional and Continental modelled wind erosion; My Dust Season, and Dust Event Types.


Geographic markers Geographic markers

The geographic markers in the map are 'Stations'. These are meteorological (weather) stations operated by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

The NRM boundaries represent natural resource management regions as defined by the Australian Government, and further refined as per the report by Leys et al. 2009 "Improving the capacity to monitor wind erosion in Australia"

Data source Data source

The data is sourced from Bureau of Meteorology records. Dust Event Days (DED) were calculated from the Bureau's visibility measurements and weather codes. Time period: 1960-2011.

Print How to print this data

To print the map with accompanying graph, follow these simple steps:

  1. Position the map at the correct zoom-level you require
  2. Click a geographic marker to display the data tooltip
  3. Use the Print options in your internet browser

Help Help

This web-map is supported by the following internet browsers: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Safari
For maximum functionality, make sure you are using the latest version.  Update my browser

Internet Explorer 7 is no longer supported by MapBox and may experience minor glitches when viewing the map.

If you still have trouble viewing the data, or think the data displayed looks incorrect, please contact us.



For more information, contact the project manager, Dr Craig Strong.


Published in Wind Erosion Histories