A combined Townsville Council, State Government, Commonweath and community base initiative to maintain and enhance
our healthy waterways in the coastal dry tropics.

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Theme 3: Water Quality Monitoring

Water quality monitoring is critical to ensure protection of waterways and aquatic habitats across Townsville and Thuringowa.

Water Quality Objectives

Creek to Coral has a range of objectives, which are related to water quality including:

Water Quality Process

As part of its Process Approach, Creek to Coral takes into account existing programs, plans and policies and develops connections with them. In Townsville and Thuringowa this includes:

Creek to Coral is developing an Integrated Water Quality Monitoring Programme incorporating the various Water Quality Monitoring Initiatives around Townsville and Thuringowa. This programme, based on an integrated approach, is being coordinated by the Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research (ACTFR) through the Creek to Coral managed Coastal Catchments Initiative (CCI) project.

See our interactive map for more details on water quality data.


Creek to Coral, through its Coastal Catchments Initiative (CCI) project, is developing an integrated water quality monitoring programme starting in the 2006/07 ‘wet season’.

The programme, coordinated by the Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research (ACTFR) at James Cook University, comprises 2 stages:

Stage 1: Development of a Draft Integrated Water Quality Monitoring Programme

During this stage, existing scientific and community-based water quality monitoring information, programs and resources in Townsville and Thuringowa are identified. Pre-existing WQ data are compiled, including data collected in the framework of USQMPs and community groups such as Creekwatch.
A map and data set showing location of existing WQ monitoring sites is developed; this mapping process is linked to the Burdekin Dry Tropics Natural Resource Management (BDT NRM) CCI mapping exercise.
The first stage also includes the development of a Strategic Event Monitoring Program, discussed during a workshop by the CCI WQIP Steering Group. Findings will be incorporated in a Final Report produced for the CCI project.

Stage 2: Strategic Event Monitoring Programme

This stage is the implementation phase of the Strategic Event Monitoring Programme for the 2006/07 wet season. The implementation activities includes sites and results integration from the monitored sites as well as an event monitoring project sampling 1-3 major wet season rainfall events (e.g. main flood event, “first flush” event, end-of-wet season sampling…) at representative sites in the Townsville-Thuringowa region.

The monitoring sites (approximately 20) are selected to represent particular land-use type (e.g. urban, light industry, rural residential, heavy industry, horticulture, sugar, grazing). Water quality parameters include suspended sediments, nutrients (including phosphorus and nitrogen) as well as site-specific trace and heavy metals, pesticide and hydrocarbons.

Data gathered for these sites are recorded, collated, analysed and interpreted in a Final Project report. The Report will include recommendations for modification of the interim WQ monitoring program in the Townsville-Thuringowa region.

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