Development of basin-specific ecologically relevant water quality targets for the Great Barrier Reef

Jon Brodie, Mark Baird, Jane Waterhouse, Mathieu Mongin, Jenny Skerratt, Cedric Robillot, Rachael Smith, Reinier Mann, Michael Warne

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review


The aim of this project is to develop basin-specific water quality targets for the 35 basins, as defined by the Australian Water Resource Council (Bureau of Meteorology 2017), discharging into waters of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) (Figure 1). The primary pollutants of concern for GBR water quality are suspended sediments, in particular the fine fraction sediment (<16 μm), particulate nitrogen (PN), particulate phosphorus (PP), dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), dissolved inorganic phosphorus) and pesticides. These are the pollutants addressed in Reef Water Quality Protection Plan 2013 (Queensland and Australian governments 2013). The main land uses (shown in Figure 1) contributing pollutant loads are rangeland grazing for sediment and particulate nutrients and sugarcane for dissolved inorganic nutrients and photosystem II inhibiting herbicides (Bartley et al. 2017). Contributions from other land uses, including urban areas, are relatively minor in comparison to agriculture but can be important at local scales.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTownsville, Australia
PublisherCentre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research
Number of pages68
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Basin-specific targets
  • Water Quality
  • Pollutants
  • Pesticides
  • Suspended Sediment
  • Nutrients
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Pollution reduction targets

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