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Water Science & Technology: Water Supply Vol 7 No 2 pp 93–100 © IWA Publishing 2007 doi:10.2166/ws.2007.044

Making the connection between healthy waterways and healthy catchments: South East Queensland, Australia

S.E. Bunn*, E.G. Abal** , P.F. Greenfield***  and D.M. Tarte** 

*Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, 4111, Australia (E-mail: s.bunn@griffith.edu.au9)
** SEQ Healthy Waterways Partnership, Corner George and Adelaide Streets, Brisbane, Queensland, 4072, Australia (E-mail: e.abal@uq.edu.au; di.tarte@healthywaterways.org)
*** Office of the Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland, 4072, Australia (E-mail: p.greenfield@uq.edu.au)


The waterways of South East Queensland, Australia, represent unique and complex ecosystems that have a high conservation value and support major recreational and commercial fisheries. The agricultural districts of the region also contribute significantly to the regional economy and, together with the growing urban areas, are heavily reliant on good quality water supplies. However, the human footprint of these activities has led to significant changes in catchment hydrology and sediment delivery, declining water quality and loss of aquatic biodiversity. Predicted population increases in the region are likely to further impact on the ecological and economic health of its waterways and catchments, and there are growing community expectations to reverse the decline in water quality and ecosystem health. In response to these concerns, government, industry and community stakeholders have worked in close cooperation to develop a whole-of-government, whole-of-community approach to understanding and managing the region's waterways. This paper provides an overview of the experience gained through development of the SEQ Healthy Waterways Partnership and highlights some of the key factors we believe have contributed to its success.

Keywords: Adaptive management; ecosystem health; estuaries; monitoring; rivers; water quality

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