Fitzroy Partnership: towards a better water future

Improved water quality monitoring

Fitzroy Partnership for River Health is proud of the work of our partners, being the change that is needed for Fitzroy’s Basin water future. While Fitzroy Partnership’s scope remains primarily in water assessment and monitoring, we are also driving change as part of an Australian-first water monitoring project, the Regional Receiving Environment Monitoring Program. The program due to be launched during 2021 aims to create a more comprehensive water monitoring program than the one which exists under current operators’ Environmental Authority conditions. This will in turn support better assessment and reporting on the health of the waterways of the Fitzroy Basin.

Further research into water quality and ecosystem health

Fitzroy Partnership continues to offer the HeART of the Basin Scholarship which is open to research students at CQUniversity studying Honours, Masters by Research or PhD to progress their learnings in a research topic relating to improving waterway health in the Fitzroy Basin. Previous scholarship recipients
have developed a toolbox for fish health assessment in aquatic ecosystems association with coal and gas industries in Central Queensland, researched off stream watering points as a method of riparian restoration and measured the levels and impacts of microplastics on the environment in the Fitzroy and Livingstone water supplies.

Water stewardship at a local level

There is a growing movement towards citizen science – public participation in scientific research to increase knowledge of the environment. Fitzroy Partnership operates a unique citizen science program with a dedicated Science Officer supporting schools, groups and individuals to sample and test their local waterways and upload their results to our website portal, MyWater. As well as increasing understanding and awareness about the contributors to waterway health, Fitzroy Partnership aims to build one of the largest citizen science water data samples in Australia! Mindi the Barramundi mascot, and large-scale Maisy the Mayfly board games are also used regularly at events and schools to provide unique and fun ways to inform and connect with children and community about the pressures on water quality and the actions that can be taken for water quality improvements.

Measuring the effectiveness of urban water stewardship initiatives

Water generated from populated urban areas, including stormwater runoff and wastewater discharge can impact our local waterways, and ultimately the Great Barrier Reef. Fitzroy Partnership for River Health has commenced discussions with Rockhampton Regional Council and is working with the Office of the Great Barrier Reef within the Department of Environment and Science, to undertake urban water stewardship reporting. Local councils and community stakeholders implement management practices to reduce the impact of urban development, and Fitzroy Partnership will work with local councils to understand the effectiveness of these practices and report on these against the Urban Water Stewardship Framework, which is part of the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan. The Urban Water Stewardship Framework is funded by the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program.