Water quality and ecosystem health

Queensland has a wide diversity of waters ranging from upland streams of the Great Dividing Range, out to the coastal waters of the Great Barrier Reef. They include streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, estuaries, embayments and open coastal waters. These waters are important both to the economy of Queensland and for the many recreational benefits they provide. They also have their own intrinsic natural values.

The continued health of Queensland’s creeks, rivers, estuaries and oceans is vital. Maintenance of water quality, aquatic biodiversity and habitats is critical for ecological, economic and social well being.

The Environmental Protection (Water and Wetland Biodiversity) Policy 2019 seeks to achieve the objective identified by the Environmental Protection Act 1994—to protect Queensland’s waters by an integrated management program while allowing for development that is ecologically sustainable.

The Queensland Government and other parties (e.g. science providers, regional NRM bodies, local government) monitor ecosystem health in rivers, estuaries and coastal areas throughout the eastern coast of Queensland. In addition, the department regulates industries through licensing waste outputs into waterways.

Read more about the department’s involvement: