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Water Quality Objectives for Tasmania

    What are Water Quality Objectives? 

    Water Quality Objectives are specific ‘targets’ that protect the agreed Protected Environmental Values for inland, estuarine, coastal and marine waters and also groundwater.


    The overarching principles and objectives for water quality management in Tasmania are provided in the State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997.  It provides the management framework for the protection of water quality in Tasmania and the development of Protected Environmental Values, ambient Water Quality Guidelines and Water Quality Objectives.


    The Water Quality Objectives are the most conservative of the Water Quality Guidelines which allow for the Protected Environmental Values to be maintained and protected.


    Who sets Water Quality Objectives?

    Under the State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997, the EPA Board sets the Water Quality Objectives.


    What is the process?

    The State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997 (the Policy) sets out how Water Quality Objectives should be set and follows the methodology described under the National Water Quality Management Strategy (1992).

    The process involves establishing Water Quality Guidelines which are numerical values or descriptions of water quality indicators which allow a particular Protected Environmental Value to be maintained and protected. Water Quality Guidelines can be set using national values, regional values or on the basis of site-specific data.

    Having determined the Water Quality Guidelines appropriate for the agreed Protected Environmental Values, the Water Quality Objective is derived from the most conservative of the appropriate guideline values.


    A commonly identified Protected Environmental Value for which suitable water guideline values are not available within Tasmania is that for the Protection of Aquatic ecosystems.

WQGs for Aquatic Ecosystems

The development of guideline values for aquatic ecosystems has been undertaken in accordance with the National Water Quality Management Strategy (NWQMS).

Water Quality Guidelines for Aquatic Ecosystems have been derived for the following waters:

  • Inland surface waters
  • Estuarine waters
  • Coastal and Marine Waters
  • Groundwater (under development)


See Water Quality Guideline Values for Aquatic ecosystems of Tasmania

Water Section
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 4599 Fax: 03 6173 0254
Email: water@epa.tas.gov.au