Catchment loads

Modelling of pollutant load reductions is based on reported improvements in management practice systems. Results are an estimate of the annual average reduction in anthropogenic pollutant loads at the end of catchments between 2009 and 2016.

Indicator confidence is based on expert opinion and direct measures of error.

Further details on the scoring system (PDF, 527.3KB) and qualitative confidence rankings for each indicator are outlines in the supporting technical information.

Dissolved inorganic nitrogen

Confidence indicator

Confidence indicator for Dissolved inorganic nitrogen: 2 out of 5

Reduction in annual average dissolved inorganic nitrogen between 2009 and 2016.

Target: 50% by 2018.

Region 2015 result 2016 result
Great Barrier ReefE 18.1% E 20.9%
Cape YorkNANA
Wet TropicsE 14.7%* E 17.6%*
BurdekinD 20.0%* D 25.5%*
Mackay WhitsundayC 25.1%* D 26.8%*
FitzroyNANA
Burnett MaryB 31.5% C 32.2%

* Priority pollutant for region.

Sediment

Confidence indicator

Confidence indicator for Sediment: 3 out of 5

Reduction in annual average sediment load between 2009 and 2016.

Target: 20% by 2018.

Region 2015 result 2016 result
Great Barrier ReefC 12.3% C 13.9%
Cape YorkE 8.0% E 8.0%
Wet TropicsB 13.6% C 13.7%
BurdekinA 17.2%* A 17.7%*
Mackay WhitsundayD 9.1% D 11.8%
FitzroyE 5.5%* E 9.6%*
Burnett MaryE 3.0%* E 5.1%*

* Priority pollutant for region.

Particulate nitrogen

Confidence indicator

Confidence indicator for Particulate nitrogen: 3 out of 5

Reduction in annual average particulate nitrogen load between 2009 and 2016.

Target: 20% by 2018.

Region 2015 result 2016 result
Great Barrier ReefC 11.6% D 12.5%
Cape YorkE 8.0% E 8.0%
Wet TropicsC 11.6% D 11.7%
BurdekinA 15.3%* B 15.7%*
Mackay WhitsundayC 11.1% D 12.4%
FitzroyE 3.2%* E 4.7%*
Burnett MaryE 6.0%* E 7.5%*

* Priority pollutant for region.

Particulate phosphorus

Confidence indicator

Confidence indicator for Particulate phosphorus: 3 out of 5

Reduction in annual average particulate phosphorus load between 2009 and 2016.

Target: 20% by 2018.

Region 2015 result 2016 result
Great Barrier ReefA 14.7% B 15.6%
Cape YorkC 12.0% D 12.0%
Wet TropicsA 20.7% A 20.8%
BurdekinA 15.8%* A 16.1%*
Mackay WhitsundayB 13.1% C 14.4%
FitzroyE 6.7%* E 8.5%*
Burnett MaryC 12.0%* C 13.0%*

* Priority pollutant for region.

Pesticides

Confidence indicator

Confidence indicator for Pesticides: 2 out of 5

Reduction in annual average toxic pesticide load between 2009 and 2016.

Target: 60% by 2018.

Region 2015 result 2016 result
Great Barrier ReefC 33.7% C 36.0%
Cape YorkNANA
Wet TropicsC 31.9%* C 36.7%*
BurdekinE 23.6%* E 25.1%*
Mackay WhitsundayA 44.0%* B 45.2%*
FitzroyE 4.3%* E 4.3%*
Burnett MaryC 33.2% D 33.2%

* Priority pollutant for region.

Read the detailed Catchment pollutant loads results (PDF, 584.0KB) and methods for modelling (PDF, 726.3KB) and monitoring (PDF, 625.3KB) . There is also a summary of Great Barrier Reef Catchment Loads Monitoring data for 2015–2016 (PDF, 4.2MB) .

Last reviewed
31 January 2019
Last updated
21 December 2017