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Water Quality

Good water quality is needed to sustain the environment (surface and groundwater dependant ecosystems) and for the beneficial uses of people. This includes the social value of water for Indigenous and European cultural uses, recreation and aesthetics, agriculture, industry and drinking water.

Water quality can be degraded by the presence of:

  • Chemicals (for instance pesticides including insecticides, herbicides and defoliants)
  • Turbidity (the amount of suspended solids in water)
  • Salinity (the amount of dissolved salts)
  • Bacteria (harmful to human health / the greater environment)

The quality of water found in our environment is affected by many processes, both natural and human influenced. Point sources of pollution (such as sewage discharge or industrial wastes) and diffuse sources from broad scale erosion and salinity can reduce water quality.

Improvement in surface and ground water quality requires a landscape level approach. The adoption of Best Management Practice (BMP), which encompasses all aspects of natural resource management, by all industries, is the key to improving water quality and the condition of the ecosystem. BMP, both in the riverine zone and the surrounding catchment area, should result in an improvement to groundcover, which will slow water movement, reduce flood-flow velocity and subsequent erosion and instream degradation.

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Namoi Catchment Management Authority, 2013