Water quality within the Herbert River Catchment associated with specific land use

O'Brien, Dominique, Davis, Aaron, Nash, Michael, Di Bella, Lawrence, Turner, Ryan, Reghenzani, John, and Brodie, Jon (2013) Water quality within the Herbert River Catchment associated with specific land use. In: Proceedings of the 35th Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, pp. 1-14. From: 35th Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, 16-18 April 2013, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2012 sampling was undertaken at 16 sites within the Herbert Catchment as part of the Herbert Water Quality Monitoring Project (HWQMP). The aim of the project was to identify contaminants in the various sub-catchments with varying land use practices contributing to concentrations and loads within the Herbert River. The 16 monitoring sites covered the dominant land uses within the Herbert Catchment – rainforest, mixed cropping, urban, dairy, mining and grazing in the upper catchment, plus sugarcane, rainforest and urban in the lower catchment. As an industry initiative, the information generated can then be used to inform and assist in tailoring extension activities within each of the commodity groups; this is specifically the case for the cane industry. The cane industry is now developing strategies to address water quality issues that arise from the monitoring project and to inform its growers. The data generated will also provide “land use specific” water quality data to be used in the validation of catchment models for the Paddock to Reef Integrated Monitoring, Modelling and Reporting Program (Paddock to Reef Program). The results show detectible concentrations of sediments, nutrients and pesticides in catchment waterways which at times exceed existing Australian water quality guidelines. Concentrations of suspended sediments were relatively low throughout the catchment compared to results from neighbouring catchments in previous studies. Nutrient concentrations were high in waters draining from sugar sites but similar to concentrations found in streams of other Australian sugarcane growing regions. While pesticides – atrazine and diuron particularly associated with sugarcane production were found to be at concentrations exceeding the national guidelines for freshwater ecosystem protection. This is the first year of monitoring in the project and further data will be made available to industry as it comes to hand.

Item ID: 28488
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISSN: 0726-0822
Keywords: nutrient, pesticide, sediment, monitoring, sugarcane
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Funders: SRDC, TRC, HSC, DAFF, DERM, GBRCLMP
Date Deposited: 29 May 2014 03:38
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960608 Rural Water Evaluation (incl. Water Quality) @ 100%
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