Maintain and enhance ecosystem health of the Tamar estuary and Brid and George catchments through water quality improvement.
The Big Picture:
The NRM North region’s water assets include our surface water, ground water, freshwater lakes, wetlands and estuaries. These assets provide essential clean water for drinking, provide amenity for recreation, are used for industry and support diverse and unique aquatic biodiversity values and ecosystems. The Tamar River estuary is a focal point for the city of Launceston and underpins the region’s social and economic value. The health of the Tamar River estuary has been a long-standing issue of contention in the community. The upper reaches of the Tamar estuary are under pressure from high loads of both diffuse and point source pollutants including nutrients, sediments, metals and pathogens which has resulted in poor health for many years. Other key catchments in the region which support townships and face similar water quality pressures include the Brid and the George catchments. There is an opportunity to work with key partners, landholders and the community to address these pressures facing our rivers and estuaries and reduce pollutants entering our waterways from urban and diffuse (catchment) sources.
The Water Program focuses on improving water quality and enhancing the ecological, social and economic value of the regions waterways by reducing the load of diffuse (catchment) and point source (industry and sewage treatment plants) pollutants entering waterways.
The target catchments and issues that NRM North will focus on between 2015-2025 include:
Building the capacity and knowledge of the community and management agencies to understand and manage storm water quality, sewage treatment plant discharges and overflows and recreational water quality; and
On ground actions to reduce the load of diffuse pollutants entering waterways from dairy areas in the Meander, Brid and George catchments and grazing areas in the Brid, George, North Esk, Macquarie, and Brumbys-Lake catchments.
NRM North has developed and published Water Quality Improvement Plans (WQIPs) for the Tamar Estuary and Esk Rivers (TEER) area, the Brid catchment and the George catchment. Implementation of the Water Program will focus on implementation of the recommended actions in each of these plans and will include a range of delivery mechanisms including: providing funding incentives to landholders to undertake on-ground actions, providing training and knowledge sharing events to management, development and community stakeholders; monitoring recreational water quality and ecosystem health to inform management objectives and strategies and supporting appropriate planning and policy at a local, regional or state-wide scale. The delivery of the Water Program is supported by the Tamar Estuary and Esk Rivers (TEER) Program which is a regional partnership between the statutory agencies responsible for the management of the TEER waterways.