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 has committed $270.1 million over five years to 2025–2026 to continue the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program which funds 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.
Investment plan and annual report
In 2017, a Queensland Reef Water Quality Program Investment Plan 2017–2018 to 2021–2022 (five-year investment plan) was produced describing the key areas of activity and investment for the program aligned to the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan. An annual report and updated investment plan are also produced each year. The investment plan sets out the anticipated activities and investment for the current financial year. The annual report presents the investment and achievements for the previous financial year.
- Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce Communique—July 2019
- Queensland Government response—Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce Final Report August 2016
- Taskforce Full Final Report or Final Report Executive Summary
- Cost of Achieving the Water Quality Targets for the Reef
- Great Barrier Reef Situation Analysis July 2015
- Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce members
- Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce Terms of Reference