Graziers get to grips with water monitoring

THE LDC has set up a Community Water Quality Monitoring Group, comprised of local graziers.
These graziers will undertake water sampling training conducted by TropWater in mid-September.
The Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER) is Australia’s premiere tropical aquatic research group and is hosted by James Cook University.
It’s great that enthusiastic graziers have put their hands up to be involved in the LDC Community-based Water Monitoring program.
The data collected by the group will be used by the Queensland Government’s Paddock to Reef program.
With substantial investment and action underway to improve land practices, water quality and Reef health, the Paddock to Reef program tracks the work of many stakeholders by monitoring progress towards ambitious reef targets.
Like all reef action, there are many stakeholders involved in monitoring programs.
Protecting the Great Barrier Reef requires the efforts of many.
The LDC is excited about the Community Water Quality Monitoring Group because, by taking water samples themselves, graziers can learn from that water quality information and then take that information back to the BBB grazing community and collectively as a group try to improve local water quality.
We expect the BBB community-based water monitoring program to foster a strategic partnership between government and the monitoring group, allowing government to delegate some of its monitoring to the grazing community.
Not only will the local knowledge be put to good use, community-based monitoring broadens traditional scientific approaches and enhances social capital by strengthening the bonds within the community and with regulators.
This is why it’s important that scientists are involved with LDC, linking science with graziers in a way that enables research to be adapted and packaged in a more meaningful way.
It ensures landholders’ actions and choices are based on best available knowledge.
It also opens the way to graziers’ knowledge and innovation complementing the formal science.
TropWater scientists Steve Lewis and Zoe Bainbridge will train the graziers in water monitoring techniques.
Zoe has previously worked with landholders in monitoring sites in the BBB catchment from 2006-2013 .
For more information on the Community Water Quality Monitoring program, or water quality monitoring in general contact LDC Monitoring and Evaluation officer Barbara Colls on

Strathalbyn grazier Bristow Hughes checks water quality from a stream on his property

What is Paddock to Reef?

The Paddock to Reef Integrated Monitoring, Modelling and Reporting Program (Paddock to Reef program) is a collaborative program designed to collect and integrate data on agricultural management, catchment indicators and loads, and the health of the Great Barrier Reef.
Data is collected and reported across six reef regions and results are then published in a report card.
This program measures progress against the water quality targets and actions under the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan.
Jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments, the Paddock to Reef Program also involves collaboration with industry bodies, regional natural resource management groups, landholders and research organisations.