Queensland Reef Water Quality Program

With the Great Barrier Reef under increasing pressure from a number of threats, improving Reef water quality is a key priority for the Queensland Government.

When it comes to the long-term survival of the Reef, the most manageable impact is reducing pollutant run-off to local waterways. In particular, sediment, nutrients and pesticides affect the health of coral and seagrass ecosystems.

The government is investing $265.8 million over five years to 2021-2022 through the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program for a range of projects working with industry, agricultural producers and communities. The program was developed by the Queensland Government in response to the recommendations of the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce. If you want to learn more about the projects, visit the Collection of Reef and Land (CORAL) database. Information can be sorted via a searchable project list or through an interactive map.

The majority of funding is allocated to on-ground water quality improvement projects that support landholders to make long-term transformational changes. Initiatives include support programs such as industry-led Best Management Practice programs and extension and education services, increased monitoring, large-scale social change programs, funding for land restoration, science and research projects, Reef protection regulations, Reef wide and regional report cards, two Major Integrated Projects and an Agricultural Extension Work Placement Program.

While the main sources of water pollution come from agriculture, urban and industrial areas can create concentrated pollution that has important local impacts. We are also working with councils and the urban development industry to better manage urban run-off.

Everyone living and working on land that drains into local rivers and streams that flow into the Reef and all visitors to the Reef can also help to improve water quality.

More information

Investment plan and annual report

The five-year Queensland Reef Water Quality Program investment plan (Overview (PDF, 418 KB) and Investment Table (PDF, 111 KB) ) is updated and reported on annually.

Taskforce Resources