Upper and East Burdekin Water Quality Program
The Upper and East Burdekin Water Quality Program aims to reduce 49,000 tonnes of fine sediment from entering the Reef's waters every year.
The $5.1 million program under the Reef Trust Partnership is supporting one-on-one extension, peer-to-peer programs and targeted on-ground works in high priority areas to improve the quality of water running into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon from the Upper and East Burdekin catchments.
The Upper and East Burdekin consists of largely undeveloped rangelands dominated by native pastures. By far the dominant land use is beef cattle grazing,
taking up more than 95% of the area. Sediment tracing indicates that the Upper Burdekin has a rate of erosion 3.6 times the pre-European rate and fine sediment loads from the sub-region are the second highest in the reef catchment (behind the Bowen Broken Bogie) despite the presence of the Burdekin Falls Dam.
The Upper and East Burdekin Water Quality program, implemented by NQ Dry Tropics delivers one-on-one extension, peer-to-peer programs and targeted on-ground works in high priority areas. Property management plans pinpoint highly erosive landscape features and grazing management practices, identify action plans to address degraded landscapes and establish monitoring sites to assess progress. Producer groups deliver shared local ideas, develop project efficiencies and implement strategies for intervening in water quality issues at a sub-catchment level. A competitive incentive program is also used to support landholders adopt practice changes that demonstrate large scale water quality outcomes.
NQ Dry Tropics
The $5.1 million Upper and East Burdekin water quality program is delivered by NQ Dry Tropics and supports enduring improvements to grazing practices across the region that will result in improved water quality discharged from high priority grazing lands. This program will increase perennial ground cover at the end of the dry season, creating soils that are ‘rainfall ready’ and reducing runoff and fine sediment delivery to the Great Barrier Reef.