|Treating dryland salinity with plant-based solutions is a proven management option in many parts of Australia. However, there are potentially many locations where salinity and water quality problems require more urgent attention, for example where a significant environmental asset may be in decline or at risk. Revegetation may take several decades to reduce recharge enough to cause discharge area reduction. |
It is upon this premise that a study was completed in 2006 to investigate new technical or innovative solutions (primarily engineering based options) for the treatment of dryland salinity problem areas in Victorian catchments. The project built on the previous work on engineering options for dryland salinity control carried out by Sinclair Knight Merz [external link] for the National Dryland Salinity Program.
The underlying technical basis for the engineering solution to managing dryland salinity was extracting groundwater and diverting surface flows.
|The major conclusion from the study was that Innovative Management Technology (IMT) options for Victorian dryland salinity may only be adopted in rare circumstances. |
Decisions on site and option suitability are commonly hamstrung by the following issues:
This is not to say IMT solutions don’t still have a place; it just means that they are only likely to be suitable for a narrow range of dryland salinity situations. The two most likely scenarios are:
Federal, state and regional natural resource management funding bodies should be very wary about investing money in technologically based solutions to solve salinity and water quality problems in dryland areas.
While a technical approach to treating a salinity problem can usually be found, the costs of all the ancillary aspects will in most cases outweigh the benefits. For a complete discussion of the basis for these conclusions, please see the full report.
Innovative salinity and Nutrient management Technologies for Victorian NAP Catchments - A Site Selection Method, February 2006 (PDF - 1490KB)
Innovative salinity and Nutrient management Technologies for Victorian NAP Catchments - A Site Selection Method, February 2006 (DOC - 2553KB)
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