Under the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan (Reef Plan) there is a requirement to reduce the export of nutrients, sediments and pesticides to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon. Underpinning strategies, such as the Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants, the Paddock to Reef Integrated Monitoring, Modelling and Reporting Program (P2R program) and Reef Rescue R&D are aimed at reducing and measuring contaminant export from catchments through the introduction of improved land management practices.
The approach for loads estimation feeding into the P2R program baseline Report Card used catchment models to estimate loads from a subset of catchments in the GBR and monitoring data for the remainder (with quantified uncertainties), providing two different estimates of loads that need to be integrated into the P2R program Report Card (see Kroon et al. (2011) for an example and Kuhnert et al. (2011) for details regarding the statistical model developed for monitoring data). Furthermore, it is envisaged that future reports will only use catchment models for reporting loads, using monitoring data to calibrate models. This approach only addresses uncertainties in the catchment model parameters but does not address key uncertainties surrounding structural errors in the model and errors around the monitoring data used to calibrate the models.
PROGRESS UPDATES for this project are summarised here
The Research Outcomes Report for RRRD030 is available for download via the Final Report page. This report should be cited as:
Kuhnert, P.M., Pagendam, D., Bartley, R., Searle, R., Peterson, E., Leeds, W.B., Wikle, C.K., Ellis, R., Turner, R., Waters, D., Dougall, D., Lewis, S., Bainbridge, Z. and Brodie, J. (2013). Integrating measurements with models for improved confidence in pollutant loads estimation. Project RRRD030 Pollutant Load Estimation for Great Barrier Reef Catchments (GBR): Accounting for Uncertainty. Report to the Reef Rescue Research and Development Program. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Limited, Cairns (39pp.). ISBN: 978-1-925088-32-8.
The results of the project are also summarised in several presentations delivered at Reef Rescue R&D forums; visit the Events page.
Pagendam, D.E., Kuhnert, P.M., Leeds, W.B., Wikle, C.K., Bartley, R. and Peterson, E.E. (2014). Assimilating catchment processes with monitoring data to estimate sediment loads to the Great Barrier Reef. Environmetrics, Special Issue 25: 214-229.
Bainbridge, Z., Lewis, S., Smithers, S., Kuhnert, P., Henderson, B., Brodie, J. (2014). Fine-suspended sediment and water budgets for a large, seasonally dry tropical catchment: Burdekin River catchment, Queensland, Australia. Water Resources Research 50: doi:10.1002/2013WR014386.
Lewis, S., Bainbridge, Z., Kuhnert, P.M., Sherman, B.S., Henderson, B., Dougall, C., Cooper, M. and Brodie, J.E. (2013). Calculating sediment trapping efficiencies for reservoirs in tropical settings: A case study from the Burdekin Falls Dam, NE Australia. Water Resources Research 49, 1017–1029, doi:10.1002/wrcr.2011.
Kuhnert, P.M., Henderson, B.L., Lewis, S., Bainbridge, Z., Wilkinson, S.N. and Brodie, J. (2012). Quantifying total suspended sediment export from the Burdekin River catchment using the loads regression estimator tool. Water Resources Research, 48. DOI: 10.1029/2011WR011080