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Water quality: catchment to reef

Good water quality is essential for the health of marine and freshwater ecosystems. When water quality declines, the resilience of these ecosystems weakens.

We play a major role in monitoring the condition and tracking long-term trends of pollutants entering the Great Barrier Reef. We also work with growers, graziers and communities to help reduce runoff and improve on-farm pracitices.

Our program provides real-time nitrate data to growers in Great Barrier Reef catchments, helping them quickly adjust practices to reduce runoff.

Water quality monitoring for growers using high-frequency sensors

Featured project

Our program provides real-time nitrate data to growers in Great Barrier Reef catchments, helping them quickly adjust practices to reduce runoff.

Water quality monitoring for growers using high-frequency sensors

Community

COMING SOON

We are helping growers explore on-farm Interventions, such as drainage, to reduce runoff and improve water quality.

On-farm interventions to improve water quality

Community

COMING SOON

Our researchers train and support tourism operators and communities in collecting data to better understand water clarity, nutrients, and temperature at key tourism sites.

Community-led water quality monitoring in the Whitsunday Islands

Community

COMING SOON

We are producing new environmental and climate proxy records to provide a greater understanding of the Reef's disturbance history and long-term ecosystem evolution.

Long-term environmental records across the Great Barrier Reef

Research

COMING SOON

We use multiple lines of evidence including water quality monitoring, tracing, modelling, and proxy-based data analysis, to a better understand of the catchment-to-marine connection.

Pollutant sources, transport and fate across catchment to Reef

Research

COMING SOON

We are collaborating with extension staff throughout the Great Barrier Reef catchment to enhance their understanding of water quality science and how to effectively communicate it.

Improving water quality science communication

Community

COMING SOON

This research uses satellite images and advanced remote sensing technology to map and monitor water quality conditions, including flood plumes, across expansive reef ecosystems.

Large scale water quality monitoring using remote sensing

Monitoring

COMING SOON

We train a network of landholders on water quality sampling, where we then analyse to identify catchment hotspots and help to refine catchment modelling output.

Community water quality monitoring on grazing lands

Community

COMING SOON

By consolidating historical water quality data, we aim to uncover the spatial and temporal scope of existing monitoring efforts, enabling analysis of water quality trends across broader scales.

Historical water quality database for the Great Barrier Reef

Research

COMING SOON

For over two decades, we've studied how runoff from land and river plumes enter the Great Barrier Reef.

Impact of water quality and river plumes in the Great Barrier Reef

Monitoring, Research

COMING SOON

We specialise in the synthesis and review of Great Barrier Reef related water quality themes including hydrology, wetlands, sediments, nutrients and pesticides.

Synthesising broader water quality research across the Great Barrier Reef

Monitoring

COMING SOON

Our environmental monitoring of port industries is extensive, covering coral, water quality, seagrass, and biodiversity. This monitoring extends to more than 10 ports along Queensland.

Long-term monitoring for port industries: coral, water quality, seagrass, and biodiversity

Monitoring

COMING SOON

Research

Iles J, Cartwright P, Johns J, & Waltham N.

Water quality: catchment to reef

Port of Weipa ambient marine water quality monitoring program: Annual report 2022–2023.

Cartwright P, Iles J, & Waltham N.

Water quality: catchment to reef

Whitsunday water quality monitoring blueprint for tourism operators: Annual report 2021–2022.

Canning A.

Water quality: catchment to reef

The influence of land use on nitrate leaching after flooding in a sugarcane catchment.

Patricio-Valerio L, Schroeder T, Devlin MJ, Qin Y, & Smithers S.

Water quality: catchment to reef

Meteorolgical satelittle observations reveal diurnal exceedance of water quality guideline thresholds in the coastal Great Barrier Reef.

Hook SE, Smith RA, Waltham N. & Warne MStJ.

Water quality: catchment to reef

Pesticides in the Great Barrier Reef catchment area: Plausible risks to fish population.

Lewis S, James C, & Bainbridge J.

Water quality: catchment to reef

Water quality signatures of pristine and near-pristine landscapes in the Great Barrier Reef catchment area.

Iles J, Cartwright P, & Waltham N.

Water quality: catchment to reef

Whitsunday water quality monitoring blueprint for tourism operators: Annual report 2022–2023.

Iles J, Cartwright P, & Waltham N.

Water quality: catchment to reef

Whitsunday water quality monitoring blueprint for tourism operators: Progress report August 2022.

Reports and publications

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