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Theme 3 - Halting and Reversing the Decline of Water Quality

High quality water is vital to the ongoing health of the Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics rainforests, and for the communities, industries and ecosystems that rely on these natural ecosystems. Research within this theme will be conducted under Program 7, which in Year 4 (2009/2010) consists of six projects that are examining the effectiveness of management actions implemented under the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan (Reef Plan) and those to be taken under the Reef Rescue Plan, and improving our understanding of how the condition of freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems are linked to terrestrial processes.

Program 7 is identifying robust indicators for water quality in freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems that will enable the development of tools to improve water quality monitoring and determine pollutant thresholds of potential concern for exposure of key ecosystems to sedimentation, light, nutrients and herbicides. In addition, improved approaches for the estimation of end-of-river loads are being developed, and catchment-specific tracers are being used to determine the links between terrestrial and marine water quality to identify areas of the Great Barrier Reef lagoon that are at greatest risk of exposure to land-based pollutants. Predictive tools incorporating the likely impacts of changes in land use, management and climate on the flow and water quality regimes and ecological dynamics in the wetlands and floodplains of catchments adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef are also being developed to identify and introduce sustainable environmental targets and associated land use and land management practices. The outcomes of research conducted within Program 7 will provide valuable information to assist the evaluation of the Reef Rescue Plan. Water quality is a key issue for North Queensland's environmental assets.  Water quality is vital to the ongoing health of the Great Barrier Reef and its catchments, the Wet Tropics rainforests, and for the communities, industries and ecosystems that rely on good water quality to survive.

Theme 3 currently involves one Program:

Program 7 - Halting and Reversing the Decline of Water Quality

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What is Water Quality?

Declining water quality

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