Water quality and monitoring services
QMDC is one of many agencies monitoring the water quality and health of our Basin’s wetlands in order to track conditions and trends. We apply this science to show whether land activity is affecting our wetlands and to prioritise riverine activities. The data informs a broader catchment model developed for the Condamine-Balonne, Moonie, Weir and Border Rivers catchments.
We work with landholders to put water quality practices into place, and to increase our understanding about water quality and river health.We monitor or support monitoring at almost 100 sites in the Border Rivers and Maranoa-Balonne River systems. An annual water-bug or macroscopic invertebrate sample is also taken to give a coarse indication of wetland health.
SWAMP - The Stanthorpe Water Assessment and Monitoring Project (SWAMP) is an excellent example of community monitoring in action. The project is a partnership between local landholders and 12 organisations, including Granite Borders Landcare, Southern Downs Regional Council and QMDC, and aims to collect long-term water quality data for the Stanthorpe area. The SWAMP committee was formed in February 2004 to address the issue of a lack of water quality data for the Stanthorpe Shire, and the impacts this had on the ability of managers to make informed decisions. Subsequently, in 2005 community volunteers for the SWAMP group began monitoring water quality. As a project partner, QMDC has completed analyses of the SWAMP data and compiled a report that summarises water quality condition and trend in the Stanthorpe region over the period 2005 -16. This information can be used to inform land and water management planning activities in the region. Download the report here.
CSG Net Bore Monitoring Program - QMDC has entered into a contract with the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines and Landcare groups to implement the CSG Net initative. The project aims to bring bore owners, DNRM and Coal Seam Gas companies together to monitor groundwater levels in areas of CSG activity.
Store and Release - QMDC has been contracted by Government departments to undertake a “Store and Release” water quality monitoring program. The intent is to provide data to inform the concept of irrigators selling and releasing water from offstream storages into streams and other wetlands for environmental benefit. Under Queensland EPA legislation such an exercise can only be undertaken if stakeholders can demonstrate the release of water into streams does not in itself pose undue risk of doing environmental harm.
Our technical staff and Aboriginal Rangers are undertaking base flow sample runs and event flow sample runs from storages and “receiving waters”. The samples are being analysed for salts, nutrients, metals, pesticides and petroleum based pollutants.