Risk assessment & water quality synthesis

Introduction

The Catchment to Reef Research (CRRG) team have led several assessment of the relative risk of pollutants in the GBR region to GBR ecosystem health in collaboration with many partners. The assessment used a combination of qualitative and semi-quantitative information about the influence of individual catchments of the 6 NRM Regions on key GBR ecosystems (coral reefs and seagrass meadows). Qualitative conclusions are also drawn about coastal and estuarine wetlands where information was available. This information provides a strong foundation to build upon for prioritising Regional investments in water quality improvement, and could be tailored by our team for each Region to inform the WQIP updates.

The main finding was that increased loads of suspended sediments, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and pesticides all pose a high risk to some parts of the GBR. However, the risk differs between the individual pollutants, between the source catchments, and with distance from the coast.

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Further Reading

Waterhouse, Jane, Schaffelke, Britta, Bartley, Rebecca, Eberhard, Rachel, Brodie, Jon, Star, Megan, Thorburn, Peter, Rolfe, John, Ronan, Mike, Taylor, Bruce, and Kroon, Frederieke (2017) 2017 Scientific Consensus Statement: land use impacts on the Great Barrier Reef water quality and ecosystem condition. Report. State of Queensland.

Bartley, Rebecca, Waters, David, Turner, Ryan, Kroon, Frederieke, Garzon-Garcia, Alex, Kuhnert, Petra, Lewis, Stephen, Smith, Rachel, Bainbridge, Zoe, Olley, Jon, Brooks, Andrew, Burton, Jo, Brodie, Jon, and Waterhouse, Jane (2017) 2017 Scientific Consensus Statement: land use impacts on the Great Barrier Reef water quality and ecosystem condition, Chapter 2: sources of sediment, nutrients, pesticides and other pollutants to the Great Barrier Reef. Report Section. State of Queensland.

Waterhouse, Jane, Brodie, Jon, Tracey, Dieter, Smith, Rachel, VanderGragt, Maria, Collier, Catherine, Petus, Caroline, Baird, Mark, Kroon, Frederieke, Mann, Reiner, Sutcliffe, Terri, Waters, Davis, and Adame, Fernanda (2017) 2017 Scientific Consensus Statement: land use impacts on the Great Barrier Reef water quality and ecosystem condition, Chapter 3: the risk from anthropogenic pollutants to Great Barrier Reef coastal and marine ecosystems. Report Section. State of Queensland.

Waterhouse, Jane, Schaffelke, Britta, Bartley, Rebecca, Eberhard, Rachel, Brodie, Jon, Star, Megan, Thorburn, Peter, Rolfe, John, Ronan, Mike, Taylor, Bruce, and Kroon, Frederieke (2017) 2017 Scientific Consensus Statement: land use impacts on the Great Barrier Reef water quality and ecosystem condition, Chapter 5: overview of key findings, management implications and knowledge gaps. Report Section. State of Queensland.

Contact

Jane Waterhouse ProfileJane Waterhouse

EmailJane.Waterhouse@jcu.edu.au

Phone: +61 7 4781 4595

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