The quality of natural waters in Queensland is protected under the Environmental Protection Policy 2009 (EPP(Water)). The EPP(Water) achieves the objective of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) to protect Queensland’s waters while supporting ecologically sustainable development. Queensland waters include water in rivers, streams, wetlands, lakes, aquifers, estuaries and coastal areas.
Environmental values (EVs) and water quality objectives (WQOs) are being progressively determined for areas of Queensland (refer to maps of our region below). EVs define the uses of the water by aquatic ecosystems and for human uses (e.g. drinking water, stock water, irrigation, aquaculture, recreation, industry). WQOs define objectives for the physico-chemical characteristics of the water (e.g. nitrogen content, dissolved oxygen, turbidity). Where sufficient information exists, biological indicators can also be used (e.g. fish, macroinvertebrates). Once they are finalised and approved by Government, EVs/WQOs are included in Schedule 1 of the EPP (Water). EVs/WQOs for Fitzroy Basin waters were scheduled in 2011 (with an update planned). EVs/WQOs for Capricorn and Curtis coasts were scheduled in 2014. FBA was heavily involved in the development of these EVs/WQOs, including coordination of regional stakeholder meetings andconsultation. Final EVs/WQOs are available from the EHP website.
Local EVs and WQOs inform planning and decision making for development under the EP Act (e.g. point source environmentally relevant activities); local government planning and decision making for urban land development under the State Planning Policy – state interest guideline: Water Quality; best practice management approaches to address diffuse emissions from rural lands; development of report cards on aquatic ecosystem health; and catchment-scale management planning and decisions by regional natural resource management (NRM) bodies.
For more detail visit the EHP web site.
Click on the maps below to view the Environmental Values for Fitzroy Basin waters.