Avon Catchment Council Projects Address Issues Leading to Avon River Degradation

26 May 2006

The Avon Catchment Council aims to improve water quality in the Avon River and the condition of vegetation beside the river and its tributaries.

As a result of a $13.8 million investment last year from the State and Australian governments, work is now well underway to improve the overall condition of the Avon River including water quality and sedimentation issues. Improvement in the condition of river pools is an important component of this investment.

Over $1.2 million is being spent on the Avon River and tributaries to address such issues as sedimentation, water quality decline, bank stability and erosion, decline in riparian vegetation, and flooding.

Current work being carried out includes fencing, revegetation and improved land use practices to reduce topsoil and nutrients entering waterways. Fencing beside rivers and tributaries reduces stock access and allows for revegetation to occur along river banks. It also decreases the amount of topsoil and nutrients entering the waterway.

Over 100km of the Avon River and its tributaries have been fenced since October 2005, and this figure is expected to increase this year. Fencing work has been coupled with raising the awareness of landholders to help improve management of their stretch of the river.

Implementation of nutrient stripping wetlands, sediment removal, flood mapping and education are also being used to improve sections of the Avon River and these will also have significant downstream benefits.

The Avon Catchment Council works closely with government agencies non government organisations and the community to address river water quality issues and in particular the movement of sediments into the river. This will help safeguard the long term health of both the Avon and Swan Rivers.

Media Contact: Rochelle Pyle Marketing & Communications Manager 9690 2250