Water monitoring and sampling manual

The Queensland Government undertakes water monitoring for a number of reasons including: providing information to government for policy and investment decision-making; to underpin natural resource management decisions by government and stakeholders; to assess environmental impacts; and to educate and inform stakeholders and the community.

Monitoring is also conducted by local government, industry, regional NRM bodies and community groups. Many of these organisations collect valuable information on the condition of Queensland waters that complements Queensland Government monitoring.

The Monitoring and Sampling Manual 2018 (PDF, 9.5MB) provides the common techniques, methods and standards for sample collection, handling, quality assurance and control, custodianship and data management for use by government agencies, relevant persons and other organisations.

The monitoring and sampling manual will help ensure that monitoring data available to all stakeholders is consistent and scientifically accurate. The data will help users assess the condition of Queensland waters and trends in water health. This is aimed at ensuring the aquatic environment can be managed for sustainable development and aquatic ecosystem health.

The Monitoring and Sampling Manual 2018 is the main document to determine the protocols when monitoring is required under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and Environmental Protection Regulation 2019.

Download the report

You can download the full version of the manual:

Or browse the following sections of the manual:

    Sampling design and preparation

    Physical and chemical assessment

    Biological assessment

    Data handling

    Water quality monitoring data is available from the following Queensland government web pages:

    Wetland Info has additional information on aquatic monitoring programs throughout Queensland.

    Contact details

    For further information please contact the Healthy Waters Policy and Strategy Team:


    Post:Healthy Waters Policy and Strategy
    Department of Environment and Science
    GPO Box 2454
    Brisbane QLD 4001

    Note: Your responses may be subject to a Right to Information application.