State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997


The State Policy on Water Quality Management (1997), also known as the Water Quality Policy, provides a framework for the development of ambient water quality objectives and the management and regulation of point and diffuse sources of emissions to surface waters (including coastal waters) and groundwater.

  State Policy on Water Quality Management (1997)   (326Kb)

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The Water Quality Policy was made under section 11 of the State Polic​ies and Projects Act 1993 and came into effect in September 1997.

Environmental Values

The environmental values to be protected under the Water Quality Policy include:

  • protection of aquatic ecosystems
  • recreational water quality and aesthetics
  • raw water for town drinking water supply
  • agricultural water uses
  • industrial water supply

The Policy also sets sub-values to these broader values.

Water quality objectives may be set for individual surface water and groundwater bodies by first determining which protected environmental values will apply to each body of water.


Provisions of the Water Quality Policy include:

  • purpose and objectives
  • protected environmental values and water quality objectives
  • measures to achieve policy objectives
  • management of point sources of pollution
  • management of diffuse sources of pollution
  • monitoring