Drinking water results see high scores for region
WATER. We drink it, use it to bathe and cook food in it so one would hope it is of a high standard.
Residents of the Rockhampton and Central Highland regions can rest assured it is, following the release of the latest Fitzroy Basin report card.
The Fitzroy Partnership for River Health yesterday released its 2013-2014 report card on the state of waterways in the Fitzroy Basin and launched a new Agricultural Use Report that grades water quality in local waterways for stock and crop production.
Drinking water results for 2013-14 saw all townships in the Rockhampton and Central Highlands awarded A grades, while the Fitzroy Basin attained an excellent score for agricultural use.
Fitzroy Partnership for River Health executive officer Nathan Johnston said the drinking water report was typical of most water supplies across Australia.
"The results confirm health guidelines were never exceeded, and only minor exceedances of aesthetic guidelines were recorded in most townships at various times during the 2013-14 period related to taste, colour and odour," Mr Johnston said.
"Aesthetic guidelines relate to the acceptability of water to the consumer, for example appearance, taste and odour, rather than its impact on health."
The agricultural industry is the largest land use in the basin and also a major consumer of the basin's water assets, so reporting on the suitability of water for stock and cropping use represented a logical extension to the partnership's existing ecosystem health and drinking water assessments.
Mr Johnston said the agricultural industry should be satisfied that catchments were generally found to be excellent or good for agricultural use.
"A significant water quality dataset is already compiled annually to prepare existing aquatic ecosystem health reports for surface waters and now these results have also been compared against stock and cropping thresholds to prepare reports for agriculture," Mr Johnston said.
"All freshwater catchments were awarded A grades for both stock and cropping use except for Callide for cropping use, and Callide and Theresa for stock use, which were awarded B grades, due to minor issues for a couple of indicators.
"The report highlights that good water quality is available for stock and cropping use and contributes to the Fitzroy Basin's position as one of the most productive cropping and grazing centres in Australia."
Overall in 2013-14, the basin attained a B grade for aquatic ecosystem health, which includes the freshwater and estuary reporting areas.
This was up from previous year's C grade, however the marine zone was not included in calculating the overall basin grade this year because results for the marine zone were unavailable.
Mr Johnston said when it came to water quality, Emerald held the crown.