Understand your location
Understanding your location is the essential first step when developing a treatment train to improve agricultural water quality. Developing an understanding of the site or land unit and the sub-catchment and broader catchment, where relevant, ensures:
In planning and designing a treatment train for improving water quality in agricultural production landscapes it is necessary to understand the components, processes and drivers in your site location and the sub-catchment. The components (e.g. topography, soil, vegetation) interact with processes (e.g. water regime, nutrient processes, erosion), which are influenced by drivers, such as catchment development, weather events and management practices. These give rise to the services (e.g. clean water and healthy environments) that benefit a broad range of stakeholders. Developing this understanding will help identify suitable management interventions to achieve specific outcomes.
The following components, processes and drivers should be assessed and considered at the site/land unit and sub-catchment scales when planning a treatment train or treatment system for water quality improvement:
A table of links to information is provided to help in gathering relevant information on your location and sub-catchment.
Position in the landscape
The location of the site within the landscape will influence the water regime and capacity for a treatment system to intercept and treat pollutants. Sites high in the catchment/sub-catchment will generally receive water from a smaller sub-catchment area than sites on a floodplain which will be influenced by a local sub-catchment and potentially the broader catchment during flood events. The site topography, vegetation, geology, soils and even climate is likely to vary between sites high in the catchment and those lower in the catchment. The position in the landscape will therefore provide opportunities and constraints for different types and designs of treatment systems.
One of the most important considerations when identifying interventions for water quality improvement is the water regime of the site or land unit and its connectivity to the sub-catchment/s and broader catchment (if the site is located on a floodplain). The water regime describes where, when and how much water is present, including the timing, frequency, duration, depth and variability of the water and it is influenced by the landscape characteristics, landscape hydrology and hydrological connections.
“Walking the Landscape” provides a framework for identifying environmental processes in terms of the components and processes in a catchment and can help identify the suitability of different interventions, such as treatment systems. It collates a variety of information on a catchment and can help with planning the use of treatment systems in the landscape.
In addition to the standard disclaimer located at the bottom of the page, please note the content presented is based on published knowledge of treatment systems. Many of the treatment systems described have not been trialled in different regions or land uses in Queensland. The information will be updated as new trials are conducted and monitored. If you have any additional information on treatment systems or suggestions for additional technologies contact us via the feedback link at the bottom of the page.
Last updated: 5 October 2018
This page should be cited as:
Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2018) Understand your location, WetlandInfo website, accessed 24 September 2020. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/management/treatment-systems/for-agriculture/understand-your-location/