Economic and social impact assessment of water quality improvement.
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by K Alam, John RolfeJohn Rolfe, P Donaghy
Water quality in Queensland’s rivers, coasts and estuaries varies considerably, ranging from some in pristine condition to others in very poor condition. Despite a range of government programs and initiatives, levels in many areas have continued to decline. Declining water quality levels impact on communities and stakeholders in a number of ways including direct impacts, impacts on human support systems, and impacts on biodiversity and other ecological systems. This paper demonstrates how setting of more stringent water quality objectives can enhance and protect environmental assets of water resources. There are very large and damaging economic and social impacts associated with further declines in water quality in some specific Queensland water systems. Therefore, the case for averting these impacts by at least maintaining current water quality levels is very strong, justifying a range of current government initiatives to minimise further damages. There is also a strong case for undertaking improved water quality objectives above the current standards through best practice management intervention strategies.