In an effort to combat rising groundwater tables andexpanding saline lakes, saline water has been disposedof into the aquatic environment, despite there beinglittle information as to the environmental effects.Monitoring of the effect of saline lake water disposalon aquatic macroinvertebrates and water quality wasconducted in the Barwon River, south west Victoria,Australia, in association with toxicity tests. Thedisposal of saline lake water was associated withchanges in macroinvertebrate community structure.Contrary to expectations, increases in electricalconductivity (a measure of salinity) was not the onlywater quality parameter associated with saline waterdisposal. An experiment was conducted where thetoxicity of saline lake water was compared to that ofa prepared solution of the same electricalconductivity. Toxicity was greater in the saline lakewater than the prepared solution. The results suggestthat saline water disposal is impacting onmacroinvertebrate fauna but electrical conductivity isnot the only factor responsible. These results haveconsequences for both management of aquatic resourcesand for monitoring programs which are discussed.