Water Week

EWN Publishing

Long-terms plan to reduce salinity in Western Australia Tone and Upper Warren river

Posted by waterweek on 21 September 2007

The South West Catchment Council’s natu­ral resource management plan for the Tone and Upper-Warren salinity river recovery project aimed to improve water standards by 2030, reported Farm Weekly (6/9/2007, p. 47).

Collaborative approach: The project is part of a larger $40m plan for the region funded by state and federal govern­ments through the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality and the Natural Heritage Trust. Council chairman Tony Brun said the col­laborative approach of the project’s partners recognised the need to avoid a future crisis on the Tone and Upper-Warren. “By working in partnership with the Department of Water and community organi­sations, the council has access to local knowl­edge and expertise so that government fund­ing is targeted in the region to benefit the whole community,” he said. “The project aims to encourage the estab­lishment of 2000 hectares of perennial vegeta­tion in the Warren catchment and is one of our flagship projects.”

Planting and fencing: Project manager John Platt said large-scale intervention was needed to recov­er the Warren and Tone rivers’ water supplies. Options included engineering works and the creation and management of perennial farming systems. “Research has shown that over time peren­nials use more water than annuals, thereby lowering groundwater and potentially reduc­ing stream salinity in the long term,” Platt said. “With our holistic approach we aim to have 100pc ground cover all year. So far on our 1,629ha, 244ha have been planted to perennials with a further 230 ha of creek lines and trees fenced. About 30pc of the Mathwin’s properties have been planted or regenerated, with 15pc of the remainder being cropped each year.” As part of the Warren Perennials Project a further 63 hectares would be planted during 2007 and 2008, mainly saltbush on a large creek flat and some lucerne on a higher site. Brun said the pro­ject’s initial works phase would cost $1.68m and negotiations with state and federal governments were being conducted for more funds.

Farm Weekly, 6/9/2007, p. 47

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