Looking after the health of the land and waterways within our drinking water catchments is critical to a safe water supply and providing water for life. We believe it is vital to work in partnership with neighbouring landholders and the broader community to look after the catchment we live, work and play in and protect our precious water resources.

Seqwater and Noosa and District Landcare have partnered to better protect the quality of water in the Lake Macdonald catchment, through the Water Supply Catchment Protection Program.

Although the official name is ‘Six Mile Creek Dam’, it is more well-known as Lake Macdonald. The lake is located in the Noosa hinterland, four kilometers north-east of Cooroy, and is an important drinking water source in the South East Queensland Water Grid.

The lake has a catchment area of 49 km2 and the dam holds 8,018 million liters of water at full supply. The Lake is fed by a series of streams and tributaries, including Upper Six-Mile Creek, which meanders past Cooroy Mountain and towards Eumundi. It’s waterways flow through a mosaic of agricultural, residential and park land uses. The lake is also popular for recreational activities such as rowing and fishing.

Drinking Water Risks

Certain contaminants in water are deemed hazardous and can pose a significant risk to public health and the health of the natural environment.

They include:

  • Pathogens (disease-causing microorganisms) from stock faeces and human waste,
  • Sediment from erosion and the disturbance of stream banks,
  • Chemicals from inappropriate pesticide and herbicide use and waste disposal, and
  • Nutrients from fertilisers, as well as from stock faeces and urine.

Pathogens, like the common nasty bacteria, E. coli, pose the greatest risk to drinking water quality and human health.

Power of the people

With a large proportion of the catchment being owned and managed by our community, the actions of landholders can have a direct impact on our drinking water supply.

Implementing regenerative and sustainable land practices can help restore and protect ecological systems that support good water quality. This will have mutual benefits to your property, like improved productivity, increased value, and enhanced amenity and the environment with improved biodiversity, habitat connectivity, carbon storage and more.


How you can get involved

The Water Supply Catchment Protection Program brings landholders and local experts together to share knowledge and find ways to prevent sediment, nutrients and pathogens, such as livestock faeces, from entering the lake, while supporting the productivity and health of their properties.

The program gives landholders the opportunity to learn more about catchment and land management and receive financial assistance to implement water quality improvement strategies on their properties.

Partnering landholders may be provided financial assistance and support to implement improvement strategies such as, but not limited to:

  • Waterway and gully livestock fencing,
  • Installing off-stream water sources for livestock,
  • Vegetation planting along waterways and gullies,
  • Erosion remediation, and
  • Management of environmental weeds, Cats Claw Creeper (Macfadyena unguis-cati) and Madeira vine (Anredera cordifolia).

Grab our Program Factsheet here.

Visit our resources page for useful land management factsheets, website links, book recommendations and more.

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