The National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (NAP) in October 2000, together with more recent release of the Great Barrier Water Quality Action Plan has focused the attention of land resource managers throughout Australia on the issues of Water Quality. The Natural Resource Management Board (NRM) have had funding approved for a Wet Tropics Regional Water Quality Project. This project aims to establish a pilot water quality monitoring system that engages landholders in assessing their land use impacts on water quality. It will provide a way of evaluating the effectiveness of best management practices for the major industries of sugarcane, banana and broad acre farming in the Wet Tropics and other activities via storm water monitoring.
Five Sites have been selected in the Barron sub-catchment of Granite Ck on the tablelands for assessment. Water samples are being taken during storm based events. The sites are located at strategic places aiming to measure run-off from cane, bananas and urban environments, and relate the results to some achievable on-ground changes.
John Faithful from Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research (ACTFR), recently trained Project Officers, Jane Greer, Mike Dwyer and Tracey Whiteing in Water Quality sampling procedures and protocols. Allan and Morgain hydrographers from South Johnstone, have built an in-stream flow structure on a farm drain to monitor flow.