RRRC and Water Quality

RRRC works with the world’s leading science institutes to improve, protect and sustain the quality of water flowing into the Great Barrier Reef (GBR).

RRRC's scientific partnerships allows it to coordinate and distribute latest information about the most significant impact areas to government and industry to aid in the formulation of strategies to minimise impacts to water quality. Through
its extensive networks and collaborative management processes RRRC continually seeks to identify and improve environmental performance.

RRRC synthesizes and delivers vital information to end-users to assist them in the development of strategies and policies to achieve best practices in land management. These stakeholders include; Queensland Department of Environment and Science - Environment, Department of Agriculture and Water Sources, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), Canegrowers, AgForce and Regional Natural Resource Management Boards.

RRRC manages projects on Water Quality that seek to advance the understanding of both catchment and marine processes that impact on GBR Water Quality.


For catchment, the main projects look to improve understanding of:

  • Adoption and development of sustainable practices that have water quality benefits - the development, trial and validation of land management practices that are sustainable and have improved water quality outcomes in the sugar, beef grazing, horticulture and dairy sectors
  • Pesticide threat, delivery and management - investigation of pesticide management in the sugar, beef grazing and horticulture industries and pesticide transport pathways in freshwater and marine ecosystems
  • Tracking change - development of robust and cost effective techniques for measuring and reporting key monitoring indicators


In the marine system, the main projects seek to improve understanding of:

  • The characteristics of cumulative impacts of global, regional and local stressors on the present and past biodiversity of the GBR
  • Coastal turbidity over time and demonstrating the effects of river discharge events on regional turbidity
  • The chronic effects of pesticides and their persistence in tropical waters
  • The risk assessment of changing water quality on the ecological systems of the GBR
  • Combined water quality-climate effects on coral and other reef organisms
  • The vulnerability of seagrass habitats in the GBR to changing coastal environments
  • How spatial planning of coastal development in the GBR region can provide information to direct management decisions