Water resource development and high value coastal wetlands on the Lower Burdekin Floodplain, Australia

Davis, Aaron M., Lewis, Stephen E., O’Brien, Dominique S., Bainbridge, Zoe T., Bentley, Christie, Mueller, Jochen F. and Brodie, Jon E. (2014). Water resource development and high value coastal wetlands on the Lower Burdekin Floodplain, Australia. In Eric Wolanski (Ed.), Estuaries of Australia in 2050 and beyond (pp. 223-245) Dordrecht, Germany: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-7019-5_13

Author Davis, Aaron M.
Lewis, Stephen E.
O’Brien, Dominique S.
Bainbridge, Zoe T.
Bentley, Christie
Mueller, Jochen F.
Brodie, Jon E.
Title of chapter Water resource development and high value coastal wetlands on the Lower Burdekin Floodplain, Australia
Title of book Estuaries of Australia in 2050 and beyond
Place of Publication Dordrecht, Germany
Publisher Springer
Publication Year 2014
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-7019-5_13
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Year available 2014
Series Estuaries of the World
ISBN 9789400770188
ISSN 2214-1553
Editor Eric Wolanski
Chapter number 13
Start page 223
End page 245
Total pages 23
Total chapters 16
Language eng
Abstract/Summary The lower Burdekin floodplain in north Queensland houses the combination of northern Australia’s largest and most intensively developed agricultural floodplain with one of the largest concentrations of high value freshwater, estuarine and marine wetlands in Australia. The area has a long history of supporting one of Australia’s most economically important sugarcane growing districts, most of which is located upstream of this complex of internationally and nationally significant wetland environments. A unique management feature of agriculture in the region is the total reliance on supplemental flood irrigation to meet crop water demands. Agricultural developments in the catchment area, particularly the establishment of water resource schemes to support this extensive irrigated agriculture, pose significant threats to the integrity of the downstream receiving wetlands. Cumulative (and ongoing) changes to water regimes and the chemistry of both surface and subsurface waters now pose major threats to both the long-term viability of wetlands and large sections of the sugar industry itself. Substantial shifts in societal perceptions and expectations regarding the value of wetlands and water resources at national and global levels are reflected in the lower Burdekin region. The legacy of earlier perceptions and associated policy decision-making are, however, going to provide some of the most enduring management challenges for lower Burdekin coastal wetlands, and ultimately the viability of irrigation areas themselves.
Keyword Irrigated agriculture
Water quality
Wet-dry tropics
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Sat, 28 Sep 2013, 00:41:07 EST by Anthony Yeates on behalf of National Res Centre For Environmental Toxicology