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Learn from past floods and better prepare water catchments

FRASER Coast residents need to learn from past floods and use science to create a regional action plan to better prepare water catchments for future floods, a not-for-profit group says.

Healthy Waterways chief executive Peter Schneider said the impact of recent flooding on water quality in south-east Queensland, and the significant risk that posed to the community, highlighted the need for action.

He said an estimated 15 million tonnes of sediment entered our waterways in the 2011 flood which had severe implications for both waterways and our communities.

Dr Schneider said creeks and farm paddocks were severely eroded and key infrastructure for power and water were put at serious risk.

He said the 2013 flood had a similar impact which demonstrated that the protection of catchments was fundamental to maintaining food, power and water supplies.

Dr Schneider said to avoid such impacts in future floods, it was crucial the collective recovery efforts of the government and community were well informed by science and what had been learned from past floods.

He said as a region, we must focus our collective efforts on protecting our water supply, agricultural production and natural environment through improved floodplain and infrastructure management, and protection of soil to reduce sediment entering waterways.

"We need to use science and what we have learnt from these floods to inform recovery and create a collaborative, regional action plan," Dr Schneider said.

"Co-ordinated, collaborative actions among the government and community and utilising the wealth of regional knowledge we have available will be fundamental to the recovery of our catchments and waterways.

"If the appropriate action is not taken soon, we can expect more of the same in future floods."

Healthy Waterways is not-for-profit organisation working with members from government, industry and the community to protect and improve south-east Queensland's waterways.

Topics:  catchments, floods, healthy waterways, plan


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