Catchment Action Plan/Resilient Rivers Initiative
Description and method logic
The Resilient Rivers Initiative aims to improve the health of waterways and Moreton Bay by delivering more coordinated catchment management to protect water and keep soil on the land and out of the waterways. The initiative is a high-level collaborative effort to establish an investment in and management of the waterways of SEQ, building on existing efforts. It requires a good understanding of the movement of water in the landscape, clearly identifying and agreeing on high-risk areas, incorporating the values of the local community, coordinating on-ground action, and is developed on a catchment-by-catchment basis.
The goals of the Resilient Rivers Initiative are:
The 2025 Outcomes of the Resilient Rivers Assessment Method, will be achieved through the development of Catchment Action Plans (CAPs) across the region and by implementing the high priority works in the Plans. Agreed targets and priority areas for investment will be established for each CAP, which will be underpinned by the best available science and assessment of the known risks.
Nestled under the Resilient Rivers Initiative are a set of CAPs that outline detailed priorities within a specific catchment. CAPs identify assets and associated services, threats, issues and impacts for a particular catchment. Assets are identified as being of regional significance, benefiting more than one local government area, and in the context of the four goals of the Resilient Rivers Initiative: Being affected by water quality, erosion and sediment, and/or extreme weather events (floods and storm surges), along with significant social, environmental and economic services.
The principles by which the CAPs are to be developed are as follows:
1. For planning purposes, the catchment is the basis of the management unit.
2. The CAPs include realistic and achievable short term (over 3 years) actions appropriate for each local catchment which collectively provide the critical implementation path to achieving overall regional economic, social and environmental objectives.
3. The CAPs are developed and delivered in partnership with government, industry, non-government organisations and the community. The CAPs build on existing plans including where relevant, existing local government plans, utility asset management plans and the SEQ NRM Plan with a nested approach to increasing localisation from river catchments to creek catchments. Key stakeholders from each catchment are involved from the beginning to build community and stakeholder ownership.
4. Where a catchment spans two or more council areas, the relevant councils establish a collaborative arrangement to align catchment planning, activities and investment. The lead council(s) ensures a strong community focus is achieved based on local community engagement to identify and address the specific local needs of a catchment.
5. The CAP provides a single investment decision point for the catchment to align relevant resources.
6. A sound scientific and adaptive management planning basis underpins CAPs and new information, emerging technologies and the effectiveness of implemented actions are incorporated to inform future actions.
A five-step process is undertaken to develop a CAP:
Step 1: Walking the Landscape workshop to understand components and processes such as geology and hydrology.
Step 2: Catchment description and issues including defining assets, services, values and objectives.
Step 3: Risk assessment including targets and preliminary management actions.
Step 4: Prioritisation of management actions.
Step 5: Publishing including endorsement from collaborators.
Consistency in the preparation of CAPs across the SEQ region is desirable to allow for regional prioritisation of projects where appropriate. To achieve this, the following aspects of a CAP benefit in being consistent:
The final outcome is a CAP document for key investors and stakeholders of a specific catchment. A final CAP will be a strategic document, web-based, with reference to more detailed supporting documents where appropriate.
Criteria groupings of the method
Assets are catchment-based and can include:
Each asset can have several associated services, for example the asset of an estuary can provide the services of fisheries (recreational and commercial), recreation, aquaculture, protection from storm surge and flooding, and biodiversity. Each asset can also have several threats, such as sediment, fish passage barriers and reduced seagrass in the case of an estuary. Other threats can include population growth, extreme weather events, and land use change, particularly urban footprint increases. Each threat can in turn have a range of issues and impacts.
High-level expert knowledge of catchment management, stakeholder engagement, risk assessment, management actions (on-ground works) and spatial analysis.
Spatial and non-spatial data, a database platform for data storage, a Geographic Information System (GIS) platform for result presentation and interpretation, modelling software.
Criteria by category
Management and planning
Local, State and Commonwealth government, catchment groups and other community groups, water utilities, business, industry, and other stakeholders.
SEQ Council of Mayors, Healthy Land and Water, Unity Water, Queensland Government, Queensland Urban Utilities & Seqwater (2018), Bremer River Catchment Action Plan.
Last updated: 1 February 2021
This page should be cited as:
Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2021) Catchment Action Plan/Resilient Rivers Initiative, WetlandInfo website, accessed 2 February 2022. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/resources/tools/assessment-search-tool/catchment-action-plan-resilient-rivers-initiative/