Great Barrier Reef Water Quality Monitoring with Local Farmers

Video Transcription

(Special thanks to Queensland Government, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection)

Without water, we don't have life, we don't have industry, we don't have farming, we don't have food. So ensuring the water quality for future generations and ensuring the reef for future generations is so important.
 
With the recent impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef and the recent coral bleaching, it's now more important than ever to bring more people to the table to improve the resilience on the reef. (Read blog post The Great Barrier Reef | Seventh Wonder of the World and an Endangered Species).

In the Paddock to Reef program, we sample water quality in our creeks and streams that discharge water to the Great Barrier Reef. By monitoring our waterways, we can assess what condition that they're at. We also look at how dirty the water is, the sediment that's in the water, and we also assess it for pesticides and what the pesticide concentrations are. 

Queensland-Paddock-to-Reef-Program.jpg
 
The Paddock to Reef Program has a modelling component, and it can forecast and assess where investment is needed so that the government can invest specifically in certain areas and get value from their investments. So the team based in Brisbane work with regional stakeholders everywhere, from the Burnett Mary Region, all the way up to the Cape York, as far as Pascoe.
 
The team spent some time with the farmers. They teach them how to sample the water quality and how to record all the metadata and the information about the sample.

The Sandy Creek farmers are an active group of farmers south of Mackay, and they actively put their hand up to be involved, and take in samples themselves so they can learn from that water quality information, and then take that information back and, collectively as a group, try to improve their local water quality. It's quite encouraging to see them take that data, then go back to their farms and tweak their practices to have a positive effect.
 
The Paddocks to Reef program is definitely not about policing. Ultimately, we're all trying to improve water quality, and it's all for the reef and ensuring its resilience for the future generations.

It's not the only program where this is happening. It's happening across the states. I think it's up to everybody. It's not an easy fix. Improving water quality is hard, but if we're all at the table, I think we'll achieve what we're trying to do. We're trying to improve water quality, and we're trying to make a difference, and we're trying to look after the Great Barrier Reef.

>>> Learn more about the Queensland Government Paddock to Reef program as part of the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan.

Additional Blog Posts of Interest

The Great Barrier Reef | Seventh Wonder of the World and an Endangered Species

Life After Deepwater Horizon | Remediation Efforts on the Gulf of Mexico

Drilling into the Abyss | Understanding Sea Level Rise

Studying Coral Bleaching Events with Mission: Water

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