Reducing the Risk, Making the Most of Water in the Avon

The Avon Catchment Council (ACC) is providing support and information to farmers and landholders in the WA Wheatbelt to enable them to better understand water management, rainfall trends and climate change issues that impact on agriculture.

Landscape Water Workshops were recently held in Konnongorring, Kondinin, Pingelly, Merredin and Bencubbin at the request of local communities to enable them to better manage water in their landscapes, become more self sufficient and avoid the risk of salinity.

The ACC and consulting specialists GHD facilitated the workshops as part of the Water Management and Self Sufficiency Project that is delivered with investment from the Australian and Western Australian Governments through the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality.

Chantelle Noack from the ACC said “The workshops were successful in providing landholders with information on climate change, rainfall trend analysis and salinity risk assessment for the region, as well as invaluable information on how to manage water in a changing climate.

Best Practice Management criteria on how to improve water harvesting infrastructure to accommodate the influence of climate change were provided to workshop participants.”

Improved water management on farms in the Avon River Basin will contribute to reducing annual water deficits and improve the water balance of the region. Increased water harvesting will also reduce flooding and erosion, while retaining adequate stream flow for environmental requirements.

“There is a significant need to improve water management and self sufficiency, as many farming areas within the Avon River Basin have inadequate on-farm good quality water supplies and rely heavily on the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme.

With the current focus on climate change landholders can find it hard to know what to do and these workshops have been able to provide locally specific information to landholders” said Ms Noack.