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Salinity Management in the Port Phillip and Westernport CMA

Groundwater Flow Systems | Salinity Indicator Plants | Salinity Provinces in the Port Phillip and Westernport CMA

Salinity is a serious issue that can impact on agriculture, infrastructure and environmental values. The extent and severity of salinity, and the trends, are not yet well researched or documented.

Salinity Evaluation and Planning

Planning for salinity control in the region is incomplete and there has been inconsistent analysis across the region. Some planning has been undertaken in particular areas, and is recorded in separate documents including the Corangamite Salinity Management Plan (for parts of the Werribee and upper Maribyrnong catchments). The Port Phillip and Westernport CMA, in conjunction with the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), has responded to this situation by engaging DPI's Epsom Centre to review the knowledge of salinity issues in the Port Phillip and Westernport region. This work is being undertaken as a first step to developing a regional Salinity Management Plan.

DPI has been involved in several aspects of salinity management including:

Catchment-wide mapping of discharge sites to identify new discharge areas and to determine the growth and spread of salinity within catchments. Distribution of current maps to Landcare groups as a basis for salinity planning; and Localised EM38 salinity mapping and soil salinity surveys to monitor the potential and current impact of salinity.

The aim of the DPIs land management program is to encourage revegetation on private land in conjunction with normal productive enterprises. This will reduce recharge to groundwater tables by intercepting the vertical and horizontal flow of water in the soil profile to make productive use of saline discharge areas, or to lower the watertable in areas where it is close to the surface.

Source: Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority Annual Report 2000-2001.

Related Links

Murray-Darling Basin Salinity Management Strategy. Information about the 15 year Basin Salinity Management Strategy (2001-2015) on the Murray Darling Basin Commission website (external link). Includes downloadable documents.

Murray-Darling Basin Salinity Audit (external link). Provides detailed predictions for all major river valleys in the Murray-Darling Basin for the next 20, 50 and 100 years.

Effectiveness of Current Farming Systems in the Control of Dryland Salinity. (external link) A downloadable CSIRO publication on the Murray Darling Basin Commission website. To view the information PDF requires the use of a PDF reader. This can be installed for free from the Adobe website (external link).

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Australia website provides a range of documents related to Salinity Risk Management (external link) in Australia (including: the salinity problem; integrated salt risk characterisation and salinity risk management).

Information about salinity on the Australian Academy of Sciences website (external link).

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Science and Innovation tabled its report on June 21st 2004 - entitled Science overcoming salinity: Coordinating and extending the science to address the nation's salinity problem (external link). A copy of the entire report is available for download on the Parliament of Australia House of Representatives website.

The Australian Government's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website provides a range of salinity information (external link) (including major programs and initiatives, research and development, salinity advice and salinity monitoring and assessment) as well as information about the National Dryland Salinity Program (external link) (including salinity mapping methods, Groundwater Flow Systems, desalinisation technologies and the Australian Dryland Salinity Assessment 2000).

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