BRISBANE, AAP – Innovative land and water quality monitoring tools will improve water quality in the Great Barrier Reef as part of a new $3.1 million program.

The Reef Catchments Science Partnership will be a joint project with the University of Queensland and the Department of Environment and Science launched on Friday.

The partnership will play a vital role in implementing reef protection regulations passed in 2019 and generating data for water quality improvement projects.

“Innovative, high-tech monitoring and modelling tools will allow us to better protect the reef and achieve Queensland’s conservation goals,” UQ Associate Professor Michael Warne said.

The research team aims to reduce land-based pollutant run-off from industrial and agricultural sources by building tools to calculate the reef’s nutrients and sediment.

The data will allow government agencies to work with communities to monitor, model and reduce pollutant and pesticide loads in critical catchments.

“Appropriately developed technology and information will help us better understand and manage human impacts on the Reef,” said Professor Stuart Phinn, a co-leader of the program.

“We’ll be able to transform scientific expertise into real, practical tools, with direct impacts on water quality in Reef catchments and on the reef itself.”