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Targeting for pollutant reductions in the Great Barrier Reef river catchments
journal contributionposted on 10.10.2018, 00:00 by Megan Star, John Rolfe, K McCosker, R Smith, R Ellis, D Waters, J Waterhouse
The declining health of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) from poor water quality has increased the urgency for pollutant reductions at the same time that available ﬁnancial resources and knowledge regarding the most appropriate interventions are limited. Prioritisation of water quality interventions in the Great Barrier Reefcatchments is the process of identifying which land based actions can achieve the largest environmental beneﬁtsat the lowest cost. For prioritisation to be eﬀective a focus is required on the outcomes of pollution reductiona ctivities as compared to the inputs. In this paper we set out a framework for prioritising actions to improve water quality into the Great Barrier Reef, as well as providing a case study analysis using 47 individual riverbasins across the six large scale catchments, three pollutants and two industries. The results identify the most cost-eﬀective options for water quality improvements aligning to locations of medium risk to reef health. The outcomes of the analysis highlight the importance of seeking pollutant reductions where the most eﬀectiveoutcome can be achieved rather than simply targeting an industry or a catchment.