09036: Implementing the Vasse–Wonnerup Geogrpahe Bay Water Quality Improvement Plan

    Stormwater drain planted with sedges acts as a filter for pollutants and rubbish. Courtesy Department of Water
    Stormwater drain planted with sedges acts as a filter for pollutants and rubbish. Courtesy Department of Water

    The Water Quality Improvement Plan for Vasse-Wonnerup and Geographe Bay identifies management actions for reducing excess levels of nutrients in urban and rural landscapes.

    Excess nutrients-particularly nitrogen and phosphorus-often result in algae blooms, the proliferation of weeds and pests (such as midges and mosquitoes) and other ecological changes.

    The project will implement management actions for:

    • stock control in riparian areas
    • effluent from dairies and feedlots
    • fertiliser use in urban areas.

    It will also strategically retrofit water-sensitive urban design elements, and monitor and model nutrient dynamics throughout the catchment.

    Investment: $ 1 253 000
    In-kind contribution: $ 537 855
    Other contribution: $ 257 255
    Delivery organisation: Department of Water
    Project duration: January 2010 - December 2011
    Location: Geographe catchment in south-west WA

    Major project achievements

    • Dairy effluent management improved through accreditation of contractors and consultants in designing and installing effluent systems.
    • 'Code of Practice' developed for dairy shed effluent.
    • Ten priority dairy effluent systems upgraded, reducing impacts on receiving waterways.
    • Nutrients from the Busselton light industrial area reduced through improved water management of high-risk businesses and retrofitting of a major urban stormwater drain and detention basin.
    • Nutrients entering waterways reduced through improved riparian management-fencing and revegetation along priority waterways.
    • Enhanced knowledge of Vasse-Wonnerup and Geographe Bay wetlands.
    • Heightened community awareness of poor fertiliser practices through the 'Bay OK' program.
    • Increased participation in WQIP by local and state government agencies, industry bodies and individuals.
    • Adaptive management of Vasse­-Wonnerup wetlands improved through enhanced knowledge of nutrient and aquatic plant dynamics.
    • Decreasing trend in nitrogen levels identified in the Sabina River catchment. This emerging trend indicates that remediation works are improving water quality entering the Vasse-Wonnerup wetlands.

    Project partners

    GeoCatch; Shire of Busselton; South West Catchments Council; Murdoch University; dairy farmers; Western Dairy; Dairy Australia; Department of Environment and Conservation; local businesses; farmers; large fertiliser users

    More information

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