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Lee, K, 2015 –– The value of recreation in South East Queensland drinking water catchments

Project overview

Kristin Lee

For my dissertation I undertook a multi-criteria analysis as a means to support decision-making and policy development regarding recreational access to Lake Samsonvale, a storage dam used for drinking water supply in South East Queensland. This involved investigating the social, environmental and economic benefits and risks against a range of recreational access policies.
My project found that there may be scope to increase the number and types of recreation activities permitted at Lake Samsonvale. The main findings were:

  • The number of trails should be increased and their access should be relaxed to enable horse riding and mountain biking in addition to walking. This will provide the public with an opportunity to realise physical health benefits without major adverse risks.
  • Boating, including paddle craft, sailing and motor boats may be permitted if the North Pine Water Treatment Plant is upgraded to include ultra-violet disinfection. Further work is required to determine the impact of this upgrade on water pricing and the broader public’s willingness to pay.
  • Swimming is a high-risk activity that contributes large microbial loads to the water presenting a risk to the health of people recreating and the general drinking water community, and as such should not be permitted.

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