Is the Australian and Queensland Government's Reef Plan succeeding in what it set out to achieve?
This question is being answered by a program called Paddock to Reef Integrated Monitoring Modelling and Reporting.
Its role is to monitor:
- the quality of water flowing from the paddock downstream to marine waters
- the breadth of groundcovers in the catchment such as wetlands and riparian areas
- the extent to which progressive land management practices are being adopted.
By conducting water sampling on trial sites on cane, horticulture and cattle properties, the program can compare conventional methods to new farming and grazing practices. It allows for sediment, pesticide and nutrient content to be analysed, and for rainfall, soil chemistry and moisture to be monitored.
Water quality sampling is also carried out in the major rivers and out into the reef lagoon waters.
The First Report Card for the Burdekin region presents results up to 2009, and will act as a baseline so the Australian and Queensland Governments can measure whether their Reef Plan is achieving its targets.
You can also view a more detailed report on the results for the Burdekin region.
The Performance Outlook shows the extent of on-ground changes occuring in all catchments adjacent to the reef since the introduction of the Reef Plan.
You can also view a case study as an example of what some farmers in North Queensland are doing to improve the quality of water leaving their properties.