Water quality and ecosystem health

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

The continued ecological health of Queensland waters and the 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 achieves the object of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 in relation to Queensland waters and wetlands. That is, protecting Queensland’s water environment while allowing for development that is ecologically sustainable.

The Queensland Government and other parties (e.g. science providers, regional natural resource management bodies and local governments) monitor ecosystem health in rivers, estuaries, and coastal waters throughout Queensland.

The protection of Queensland wetlands is also important. The wetland environmental values established under the Environmental Protection (Water and Wetland Biodiversity) Policy 2019 relate to the:

  • processes and components that support the biological integrity of wetlands
  • biological diversity within and between wetlands, and
  • biological diversity of wetland types.

The ‘Map of referable wetlands’ has been relocated to the Environmental Protection (Water and Wetland Biodiversity) Policy 2019 from the Environmental Protection Regulation 2008, and renamed ‘Map of Queensland wetland environmental values.’

Further information on wetlands is available at WetlandInfo.

Read more about the department’s involvement: