Standards and Guidelines

Standards and guidelines documents

Image representing standards
and guidelines

Water quality guidelines and standards define desirable ranges and maximum levels for certain parameters that can be allowed (based on scientific evidence and judgement) for specific uses of waters or for protection of specific values.

A water quality guideline is a numerical concentration limit or narrative statement recommended to support and maintain a designated water use. The guidelines and standards are used as a general tool for assessing and managing water quality.

The goal of groundwater protection is to ensure that our national groundwater resources can support their identified beneficial uses and values in an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner.

The current water quality guidelines for drinking water (Australian Drinking Water Guidelines External site link) and irrigation, livestock watering and aquatic ecosystems (Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (2000) External site link) provide a critical framework for regulators, managers and the community.

The guidelines for groundwater quality protection recommend identification of existing or potential beneficial uses for each groundwater resource to assist in determining the level of protection afforded to that resource. The classification of beneficial use depends both on the quality and the potential value of the groundwater resource.