09083: Water management planning for Avon Arc towns

    Avon River, Northam. Courtesy Matt Giraudo
    Avon River, Northam. Courtesy Matt Giraudo

    The Avon River is a major river system of south-west WA, dominating the central wheatbelt landscape, and fed by a 120 000 sq km catchment. The Avon becomes the Swan River, discharging to the Swan-Canning estuary, which is central to the character of Perth city. In fact, the Avon and Swan rivers are a single river, with no confluence; their naming an historical anomaly.

    Five towns are situated on the banks of the Avon River within the project area, known as the Avon Arc. These historic towns-Brookton, Beverley, York, Northam and Toodyay-have a combined population of 21 500.

    The goal of this project was to work with participating local government authorities to better understand the impacts and options for managing detrimental effects of town stormwater on water quality within the Avon River.

    The aim was to assist in protecting the environmental health of the river, particularly in the face of impending urban and peri-urban development pressures immediately adjacent to the river.

    Investment: $ 70 960
    Delivery organisation: Wheatbelt NRM
    Project duration: September 2010 - June 2011
    Location: The Avon River stretches from Yearlering in the south-east to Walyunga National Park, where it meets the Swan River. Participating shires are York, Northam and Toodyay.

    Major project achievements

    • Collation and mapping of water-dependent ecosystems, watercourses and stormwater catchments.
    • Assessment and mapping of proposed subdivision and infill developments, identifying areas of most significant future land-use change.
    • Assessment of likely impacts of current and projected increases in stormwater discharge on water quality within the Avon River, including preliminary recommendations for improved environmental water management, particularly for proposed new subdivisions.
    • Testing of stormwater quality for selected urban catchments. 
    • Hydrologic and water quality modelling of selected sub-catchments associated with proposed new subdivisions.
    • Recommendations regarding potential hydraulic, hydrologic and nutrient implications associated with selected proposed subdivision and infill development.
    • Preliminary recommendations for improved stormwater management for sub-catchments associated with the proposed subdivisions and infill development.

    Project partners

    Shire of Northam; Shire of Toodyay; Shire of York

    More information

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