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Salinity Provinces in the North Central Catchment Management Region

The North Central CMA Region covers about 13% of Victoria and extends from the steep rocky ridges of the Great Dividing Range in the south to wide alluvial plains in the north, terminating at the Murray River between the townships of Swan Hill and Echuca. The major river catchments are the Avoca, Avon-Richardson, Loddon and Campaspe Rivers. These rivers are typically deeply incised in the southern uplands and broad and spreading on the northern plains.

Elevation generally decreases northwards from 1000 m (AHD) at Mt Macedon (south) to 70 m (AHD) adjacent to the Murray River (north). Average annual rainfall also decreases to the north ranging from 720 mm at Woodend (south) to 320 mm at Swan Hill (north). Temperatures vary dramatically with topography, location and season. Summer maximums often exceed 38C across much of the CMA, while in winter they range between 5C and 15C in the flatter country and often remain below zero in the uplands.

Natural vegetation makes up 19% of land cover with the remainder used for agriculture, which is generally irrigated in the north and dryland in the south. In the western region, dryland cereal cropping is common with some canola and legume crops.

Dryland salinity is an important land management issue in the region and entrenched within its Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS). Salt loads discharging to the Murray River have a negative impact on downstream water users including the environment. Major soil salinity problems associated with break-of-slope discharge occur in central and southern areas. Significant soil and water salinity is driven by the impact of flooding on shallow watertables particularly along the low-lying drainage lines of the Avon-Richardson Catchment and the Avoca Lakes area. Salinity associated with irrigation induced shallow watertables is a major management issue on the northern plains.

Groundwater Flow Systems within the region include local, intermediate and regional systems or a combination of these, typically increasing in scale northwards. To better understand and manage salinity, 33 Salinity Provinces, 22 of which are High priority, have been defined where similar geographic and biophysical conditions have been observed. Salinity has been recorded at over 1260 individually mapped units1 , which cover a total combined area of almost 26,000 hectares1 of the CMA.

The North Central CMA has an extensive range of online materials (maps and documents etc.) which outline the biophysical assets of the catchment, as well as their major risks (including soil and water salinity). This material also outlines the programs and projects currently being completed by the CMA to protect and enhance these assets. An example of this is the online data portal called the North Central CMA ‘iMap - Interactive Mapping System’, the link to which is provided at the base of this page.

Provinces displayed in this map are clickable or use the table of links provided

Map of North Central CMA Region with Salinity Provinces mapped
Salinity Province 54 Salinity Province 39 Salinity Province 65 Salinity Province 36 Salinity Province 56 Salinity Province 20 Salinity Province 71 Salinity Province 112 Salinity Province 95 Salinity Province 94 Salinity Province 99 Salinity Province 114 Salinity Province 16 Salinity Province 15 Salinity Province 136 Salinity Province 89 Salinity Province 11 Salinity Province 117 Salinity Province 0 Salinity Province 62 Salinity Province 101 Salinity Province 120 Salinity Province 84 Salinity Province 9 Salinity Province 18 Salinity Province 53 Salinity Province 47 Salinity Province 2 Salinity Province 102 Salinity Province 133 Salinity Province 83 Salinity Province 29 Salinity Province 55

Province Name
No.
Area of Province (ha)
Recorded Soil Salinity Area 1 (ha)
Soil Salinity Area (% of SP)
Amphitheatre
0
18,460
95
0.51%
Axe Creek
2
50,640
100
0.20%
Bendigo
9
21,690
35
0.16%
Black Range
11
4,390
254
5.79%
Bullabul
15
27,550
967
3.51%
Burkes Flat
16
12,780
206
1.61%
Campaspe - East Loddon Plains
18
106,980
32
0.03%
Cope Cope
20
29,020
2,975
10.25%
East Campaspe Plains
29
33,900
0
0%
Glenloth
36
60,090
0
0%
Gunbower - Benjeroop
39
186,010
0
0%
Huntly Plains
47
16,620
0
0%
Kamarooka
53
43,960
778
1.77%
Kerang Lakes
54
108,370
1,009
0.93%
Knowsley
55
34,200
155
0.45%
Lake Buloke
56
67,670
11,796
17.43%
Lexton
62
9,910
235
2.37%
Loddon Plains
65
252,660
533
0.21%
Marnoo
71
46,780
684
1.46%
Mt Camel Range
83
43,490
1,975
4.54%
Muckleford
84
20,720
32
0.15%
Natte Yallock
89
24,270
1,589
6.55%
Paradise
94
24,090
80
0.33%
Pental Hills
95
62,600
86
0.14%
Pyrenees
99
37,060
1,015
2.74%
Ravenswood - Nuggetty
101
43,780
721
1.65%
Redesdale - Barfold
102
34,960
176
0.50%
Swanwater - Gre Gre
112
67,170
1
0.00%
Tarpaulin
114
16,920
165
0.97%
Timor West
117
21,970
194
0.88%
Upper Loddon Volcanic Plains
120
97,610
801
0.82%
Wild Duck Creek
133
62,160
302
0.94%
Woodstock
136
22,430
129
0.58%

1 Please Note: The ‘Recorded Soil Salinity Area’ and ‘number of individually mapped units’ indicated in the CMA text and/or table, comprises the total geographic area or number of sites that have been mapped as having, or showing symptoms of dryland soil salinity at some time (past or present). As dryland salinity occurrence in the Victorian landscape exhibits many different levels of severity and can change due to climate, landuse and vegetation, previously mapped areas may no longer be showing symptoms. In addition, as not all parts of the state have been mapped, or mapped in the same way, the mapping may not have captured some occurrences.
Recorded soil salinity mapping used for these pages does not cover irrigation regions. Instead, depth to watertable and watertable salinity mapping has been used to convey the threat of high watertables on soil waterlogging and/or soil salinisation.
Please contact the Department, your Catchment Management Authority or your rural water provider for more information about salinity in your location.


Links to further reading and material related to the North Central CMR North Central CMA region on VRO North Central CMA (external link)
North Central Catchment Management Authority region on VRO
North Central Catchment Management Authority
North Central CMA ‘Regional Catchment Strategy ’ (RCS)
North Central CMA ‘iMap - Interactive Mapping System’
Information about bores and groundwater resources in the North Central CMA can be found on the Visualising Victoria’s Groundwater (VVG) website
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