30th March 2009
The Avon is now a highly disturbed river system due to clearing in the catchment for agriculture, the establishment of towns adjacent to the river and the River Training Scheme.
The Avon Catchment Council (ACC) has been funding the Department of Water to remove sediment from Avon river pools, many of which were historically significant town pools valued by the local community.
Historically, the Avon River had more than 26 major pools, some of which were over 10 metres deep. Seven of these pools have now totally filled with sediment and many others are almost full. Another five pools have substantial sediment volumes deposited in them.
Removal of sediment in the pool has had many associated benefits said Dr Elizabeth Kington, Sustainable Communities Manager with the Avon Catchment Council.
“Removal of sediment presents an increased opportunity for recreation and a decrease in the potential for management problems to arise such as poor water quality, algal blooms and odour generation.”
“This removal also can provide an overall improvement of ecological health encouraging increased biodiversity.” said Dr Kington.
Dr Kington stated that the removing of sediments from the river pools is of interest to local government because of their ecological importance, and that their projects have had some positive achievements.
“29,000 seedlings were planted in riparian zones in Brookton, York, Toodyay, Northam, Dowerin and Aldersyde, in partnership with farmers, local government and community groups.”
“114,000 species of plants have also been planted for revegetation and 58,000 seedlings were planted for commercial tree cropping. In addition a riparian management site has been established 7kms east of Northam.” Said Dr Kington
A water ways manual of best practice resulting from these projects is available from the Avon Catchment Council.
Media Contact: Dr Elizabeth Kington, Sustainable Communities Manager - Phone: (08) 9690 2296