Sadly, declining water quality in nearby catchments, much of it brought about by human activity, is now posing a long-term threat to the Reef.
Fertilisers, pesticides, sediments, nutrients, toxic chemicals, sewage, oil, heavy metals and detergents running into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon all endanger those indispensable plants and animals.
To address these threats, the federal and Queensland Governments developed the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Rescue Plan and a Reef Water Quality Protection Plan which aims to dramatically improve the quality of water entering the reef
Achieving those goals means both halting and reversing the decline in water quality entering the reef in the next 10 years, as called for in the Reef Plan, and rehabilitating and conserving areas so they can play a role in removing water-borne pollutants.
Fortunately those ambitions are now looking considerably more feasible with the aid of eWater CRC’s Source Catchments software, which under its former name WaterCAST has been on trial in the Reef since July 2008.
The Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) has been working with eWater and the Source Catchments team to figure out how the targets set in the Plan are achievable using current river conditions and land management efforts.
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