09018: Improving water quality in the Peel–Harvey Estuary and Swan–Canning catchment

    Sedge planting at Chittering Springs. Courtesy Ellen Brockman Integrated Catchment Group
    Sedge planting at Chittering Springs. Courtesy Ellen Brockman Integrated Catchment Group

    In 2006 the Peel-Harvey and Swan-Canning systems were identified as two of Australia's 19 nationwide hotspots for water quality issues.

    As part of the national Coastal Catchments Initiative, water quality improvement plans (WQIPs) were developed for both systems. These plans outline a strategic approach to managing and reducing nutrient inflows from catchments.

    With the help of funding from the State NRM Program, the Department of Water worked with the Ellen Brockman Integrated Catchment Group and the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council to implement on-ground works recommended in the plans.

    On-ground works included fencing and revegetation within priority sub-catchments and the construction of stormwater and riparian bio-filters on waterways and drains.

    Investment: $ 300 000
    In-kind contribution: $ 156 000
    Other contribution: $ 70 000
    Delivery organisation: Department of Water
    Project duration: January 2010 - March 2011
    Location: Peel–Harvey estuarine system and Ellen Brook catchment

    Major project achievements

    • Eight kilometres of fencing installed, 30 000 riparian plants planted and 40 sq m of sedge planted within the Ellen Brook catchment.
    • Commitment gained from landholders to revegetate 2 ha of fenced waterway and protect 132 ha of riparian area with covenanting and 7 km of fencing.
    • About 4.7 km of fencing and 18 ha of revegetation installed along waterways in the Peel-Harvey catchment, protecting 23 ha of riparian zone.
    • Planning completed for four stormwater bio-filters in the Peel-Harvey system.
    • Panning and design work completed for the weir in the main drain at Lake Mealup in the Peel-Harvey system.
    • Two phosphorus retention trials completed, with expected reduction in phosphorus of between 10 and 25 per cent.

    Project partners

    Ellen Brockman Integrated Catchment Group; Peel-Harvey Catchment Council; Shire of Murray

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