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Sandy Lloyd: Upper Queanbeyan River

Sandy Lloyd: Upper Queanbeyan River

Bottle number: 58

About the water

Sandy Lloyd at Queanbeyan River with her water sample.
Sandy Lloyd

Collected at: Sunnybrae, upper Queanbeyan River, NSW

Approximately 40kms SE of Queanbeyan, NSW.

Easting: 711,733, Northing: 6,059,160

View location on Google map

Collected by: Sandy Lloyd

My family has owned the land along this stretch of the river for over 40 years.

Water quality:

Turbidity: 10
pH: 7.9
Nitrates: Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0
Salinity: 130
Phosphates: O-Phos 0.03 mg/L
r-Phos 0.092 mg/L
Dissolved oxygen: 7 mg/L

Despite slight fluctuations, this stretch of the river is consistently healthy, and stopped flowing for the first time in living memory during the 1980s drought. Sadly, it now stops flowing at some time during the summer of each year, and I feel there needs to be more control over what constitutes 'riparian rights', and how water abstracted under those rights is stored and used.

ACT Waterwatch says:

I hate to brag on Waterwatchers in my region, (OK, no I don't, I love to) but this is a site where despite drought and very challenging, changing conditions, water quality has been maintained by passionate community members ... Awesome!

The water collection site - Queanbeyan River, NSW.
The water collection site - Queanbeyan River, NSW.

About the site

The site is located in rural land, though stock are excluded from the river on both sides. Reduction of rainfall over the past 20 years has resulted in a build up of vegetation (both native and exotic) on the banks, with silting in some of the deeper pools. Current threats come from continued drought conditions. and fragmentation of the land through rural subdivision which is putting much more pressure on both the land and water, with more farm dams and bores resulting in less water entering the river and groundwater system.

What's going on:

Natural revegetation is occurring at the site. Recreational use is limited to some family swimming, canoeing and trout fishing. The site remains undisturbed and is rich habitat for frogs, birds, reptiles, platypus, fish and native animals.

Willow/poplar control has been undertaken over the past five years with erosion mitigation in several areas. Monthly water quality testing is done through the local catchment group's Waterwatch programme, with spring and autumn macroinvertebrate surveys.