Guidelines

The Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality provide water managers with tools and guidance to assess, manage and monitor the water quality of aquatic systems in Australia and New Zealand. The guidelines are designed to help sustain all community values associated with aquatic systems. These values include plants and animals that live in water, a range of community uses, primary industries and Indigenous cultural and spiritual values.

The guidelines are part of Australia’s National Water Quality Management Strategy. The strategy aims to protect Australia’s water resources by improving water quality while supporting the businesses, industry, environment and communities that depend on water for their continued development.

The guidelines have been jointly developed between the Australian and New Zealand governments and Australian state and territory governments and provide a best practice platform for consistent and effective water quality management and planning.

Since the guidelines were last revised in 2000, substantial new scientific data and techniques for establishing guideline values, and for monitoring and assessment, have become available. This best available science has been incorporated into revised guidelines which will soon be released via a new easy-to-use and interactive website.