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Through the ‘Land and Water’, ‘Agriculture’ and ‘Oceans and Atmosphere’ Flagships, CSIRO is conducting long term, strategic and as well as industry relevant, applied research in the Great Barrier Reef and other tropical water systems to ensure the long-term protection and restoration of coastal and Reef ecosystems and the sustainability of agricultural land uses.

CSIRO is investing in integrated environmental, social and economic research to support the development, implementation and evaluation of on-ground actions, plans, policies and governance arrangements to improve tropical water quality.

In recent years our research has focused on:

  • Understanding the main pollutant sources and the process that affect pollutant loads.
  • Informing the design and prioritization of land management strategies for water quality improvement.
  • Helping with the selection of effective mechanisms for implementation of land management strategies.
  • Enabling managers to strategically deal with the intrinsic uncertainty around the success of water quality improvement plans.
  • Examining the factors that influence governance arrangements, partnerships, and stakeholder contributions and commitment to the effective delivery of water quality plans and policies.
  • Informing the monitoring, reporting and adaptation of water quality improvement.
  • Understanding the impacts of pollutant loads on freshwater and marine aquatic ecosystems.

CSIRO’s project experience includes preparation of the Water Quality Improvement Plan – Tully Basin, and the successful completion of numerous Reef Rescue funded projects that quantified nutrient and sediment loads to the GBR, and identified priority areas within catchment for remediation of surface and gully erosion in grazing systems.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation website