Environmental well-being is about meeting the needs of today’s generation, without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  

Under the WRS Community Outcomes the area of environmental well-being is represented by a single community outcome - healthy environment (therefore both the well-being aspect and the community outcome share the same index).

As a region we need to find a balance between human influences, land use activities and sustaining the natural ecosystems, not only relating to our water systems but also across other aspects of the environment. Good air quality is fundamental to our well-being and prevents damage to our ecosystems, our health, and our economy. 

The environmental well-being aspect of the WR-GPI increased by 8.6% between 2001 and 2018. As can be seen in the graph below, the index exhibits a flat trend between 2001 and 2007 then fluctuates between 2012 and 2018.

Measurable Outcomes

Healthy Environment

We have clean water, fresh air and healthy soils. Well-functioning and diverse ecosystems make up an environment that can support our needs. Resources are used efficiently. There is minimal waste and pollution.

Environmental well-being (and healthy environment) GPI, 2001-2018

What this means

The environmental well-being index increased between 2001 and 2018 by 8.6%.


The index exhibits some fluctuations, exacerbated by indicators such as stream and river health, landfill waste and GHG emissions per capita that, whilst demonstrating improvement when viewed across the entire time series, experienced sharp declines in some years, and notable increases in others.


Key improvements relate to the suitability of marine and freshwater sites for recreation, and the per capita water supply (a measure of sustainable water consumption). Two indicators that have not shown signs of improvement however are soil quality of dairy farm sites and public perception of air pollution in the region.

Did you know?

Natural disasters (and the cost of cleaning up after them) actually create an increase in GDP, thus counting natural disasters as a benefit to our economy. From a GPI perspective, natural disasters would be a decline in our well-being