One of the key outcomes for the Wet Tropics Healthy Waterways Partnership is to develop an annual Wet Tropics Report Card.
Report Cards are a simple way to demonstrate and monitor the health of a region’s waterways, using easy to understand diagrams. They have been used successfully in other areas of Queensland including south-east Queensland, the Mackay-Whitsundays region, Gladstone Harbour, Fitzroy basin, and the broader Great Barrier Reef.
The Wet Tropics Pilot Report Card released in December 2016 provides a baseline for comparing future changes. It highlights management actions that are already taking place, improvements that can be made and where to focus our efforts to improve waterway health.
Report cards will be produced annually to monitor and track trends in catchment conditions and aquatic health (rivers, estuaries, wetlands and near-shore coastal and marine environments) against an agreed set of indicators.
Science Behind the Report Card
The report card uses the best science that is already available.
One of the goals of the Partnership is to coordinate the sharing and pooling of data so everyone can benefit from a more complete overview of waterway health in the region.
While much of the information currently available is rolled up to a reef-wide scale, or is confined to specific aspects (e.g. agriculture only), the Wet Tropics Report Card provides a more comprehensive overview of how all of our land uses are affecting waterway health and the Reef.
In summary, this report card enables us to:
- Report on how effective our current and future waterways management is across different industries
- Highlight work already underway to improve waterway health
- Identify future actions that need to be taken to further improve waterway health
Photo credit: Paul Curtis, NQ Wildscapes