Brisbane City Council is responsible for over 4000km of waterways within its boundaries. These include small creeks, streams and major navigable rivers. In 2005 Council established the Brisbane Vision 2031. The aim of the program was to ensure the health, cleanliness and resilience of the Brisbane River, Moreton Bay by 2031. The program also intends to encourage the increased use and visitation of waterways and Moreton Bay by the community with residents and businesses valuing water quality and protecting waterways through water smart activities.
The program was designed to assess the health of the local waterways to provide robust data to support planning and delivery of waterway health management actions. Since its inception in 2005 the program has evolved and now includes a range of projects to help Council better understand the condition of, and pressure on, waterway health and resilience, including and annual monitoring program. We were engaged by Council to bring the data collected over 15 years of work to be relevant and usable under the new Brisbane Visions goals. This included synthesising, analysing and interpreting data collected over a decade and a half of annual monitoring programs, including data collected from 42 permanent sites and 10 roving sites measuring a variety of indicators, and then applying appropriate statistical techniques to the existing dataset, looking for univariate and multivariate trends over time, as well as assessing relationships with key drivers like land use change, seasonal variation and hydrology.