RRRD011: Capturing paddock scale hydrology and water quality experiences relevant to the Great Barrier Reef

David M. Freebairn and Justin L. Cutajar

RPS Australia East Pty Ltd, Brisbane

pdfDownload the RRRD011 Research Outcomes Report3.31 MB

Executive Summary

This project captured and synthesised over 100 studies dealing with hydrology-water quality related to land use and management, predominately at the paddock scale. These studies are all relevant to estimating changes in hydrology and water quality associated with various management practices in the Great Barrier Reef catchments.

A hierarchical data structure was used to summarise experimental sites with sufficient detail that audiences such as the Great Barrier Reef catchment modellers can pursue and add value to current and future modelling exercises.

Time-series of hydrology and water quality data are used to produce 'best bet' vegetation and soil parameters across a variety of land uses and regions. A protocol for pragmatic water quality modelling is established that estimates hydrology and water quality for a range of environments with reasonable accuracy.

Synthesised studies, datasets and best bet vegetation and soil parameter files are published on a publicly available database, http://www.Howleaky.net/index.php/library. These data summaries will be updated periodically.

This study has demonstrated that a range of data or reporting detail can be applied to inform hydrology and water quality simulation. While daily time series of hydrology, sediment and water quality are ideal, annual summaries are valuable.

We have successfully captured several datasets that would have almost inevitably have been lost. Yet such studies represent significant past effort and can provide useful physical evidence to support future management and modelling activities.