Our Future Plan

Asset Values

Water and Wetlands

Why are water systems important to us?

 “Environmental values are the qualities of waterways that need to be protected from the effects of pollution, waste discharges and deposits to ensure healthy aquatic ecosystems and waterways that are safe and suitable for community use. They reflect the ecological, social and economic values and uses (e.g. swimming, fishing, agriculture) of the waterway.” (QDERM 2011)

Environmental Values Scheduled under the EPP Water includes

Environmental values water

 

During 2011 and 2012, QMDC consulted with a number of stakeholder representatives to develop draft Environmental Values associated with surface water and groundwater in the Maranoa-Balonne and Lower Condamine catchments (the planning region). In several responses it was highlighted that:

  1. all values (as listed above) were of some importance individually,
  2. values had a collective importance that goes beyond individual value categories (see community capacity outline below),
  3. protecting values was not necessarily ordered towards perfect or pristine conditions but towards maintaining the current capacity of waters to meet values (QMDC 2012a).

 

Surface waters in the Maranoa-Balonne and Lower Condamine catchments, the following were identified as having high priority environmental value:

  • aquatic ecosystems,
  • cultural and spiritual values,
  • irrigating crops,
  • stock watering,
  • farm use,
  • human consumption,
  • primary recreation,
  • secondary recreation,
  • visual appreciation, and
  • raw drinking water.

With lower priority environmental value for:

  • industrial use, and
  • aquaculture.

For ground waters in the Maranoa-Balonne and Lower Condamine catchments, the following were identified as having high priority environmental value:

  • irrigating crops,
  • stock watering,
  • farm use, and
  • raw drinking water.

With lower priority environmental value for:

  • aquatic ecosystems,
  • cultural and spiritual values,
  • human consumption,
  • visual appreciation,
  • primary recreation,
  • secondary recreation,
  • industrial use, and
  • aquaculture (QMDC 2012a).

 

It should be noted that the Draft Environmental Values report highlighted values and issues associated with water that did not fit neatly into the environmental values categories. In the report (QMDC 2012a) it was noted that there is value attached to community capacity to be involved in management of waters and of associated threats.

“Community capacity is a collection of characteristics and resources which, when combined, improve the ability of a community to recognise, evaluate and address key problems.” (Bush et al. 2002).

The concern for community capacity was expressed strongly by Aboriginal groups as well as by other groups and individuals. It is also a recurring theme in the NRM (QMDC 2004) and the Caring for Country Plan (QMDC 2008).

These values were reviewed by the technical panel for Land and Water with consideration of Water and Wetlands. The technical Environmental Values were presented and in a workshop session considering water and wetlands values and were grouped into Water System, Water Use and Water Management clusters as per Table 17.

Values of Water and Wetlands

Values of water and wetlands 2

 


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