Rain or shine, the samples must go on
Wet season or dry, sampling at waterways across the Lakeland agricultural region of Cape York continue - to ensure we can collect data at all stages of water flows.
This month, the rains from Cyclone Tiffany proved a perfect opportunity for Cape York NRM Project Officer Natalie James to take 'grab water' samples from a swollen Bullhead Creek, which flows into the Laura River.
These samples increase understanding of how, or if, nutrients, sediments or pesticide concentrates change during a flow event. Are there more, are there less, or are there any?
The work is part of the Lakeland Agricultural Area Water Quality Monitoring Program which aims to add to the information on water quality in the local area with support from the Queensland Department of Environment and Science in mid-2021 the sampling is being carried out at 7 sites across Lakeland. As part of the project, the Department has installed an autosampling station on the Laura River during the wet season which will automatically collect samples at certain intervals in the day or when water flows increase or decrease.
For Nat, based in our Cooktown office, the idea of a set and forget option is good news.
"It can be a long day getting out to the streams and collecting samples," she says. "It's great work, but to have this additional sampling, which will be regular, consistent and accurate, will certainly add another dimension to the data."
The water samples are stored in a refrigerated unit until they are all collected and sent to Brisbane for analysis. The results of the data will be reviewed and discussed with landholders post-wet season.
This project is funded by the Queensland Government of Department of Environment and Science
Andree Stephens, Communications Officer, Cape York NRM
P: 0438 082 939 E: firstname.lastname@example.org