Annual Hotham-Williams Rivers Salinity Snapshot
Released 06 Aug 2009
Sponsored by BHP Billiton Worsley Alumina the 'Ribbons of Blue' event is coordinated by the Department of Water's Kwinana-Peel regional office.
Coordinator Catherine Johnston said the event was of great importance in contributing to managing the impact of dryland salinity on the state's waterways.
She said the event's sponsor should be recognised for supporting the region's iconic waterways regardless of their core business.
"Support from all sectors of the community is needed to manage the devastating impacts on communities and the aquatic ecosystem that salinity can bring," Catherine said.
"It is a particular problem in inland areas where land has historically been cleared for agriculture."
Over 80 sites are sampled along Williams and Hotham river systems in the eastern part of the Peel-Harvey Catchment to take the snapshot.
Data obtained includes salinity levels, nutrients and sediment loads, as well as alkalinity/acidity (pH).
"In addition to providing an invaluable picture of waterways health in this part of the catchment, the Salinity Snapshot allows the development of management actions and helps to raise local awareness about land use impacts on our waterways," Catherine said.
The Salinity Snapshot is made distinctive by its successful partnership approach.
"From the outset representatives from industry, the local community, government, and catchment groups have worked together to conduct the sampling.
"Every year there is an extremely positive response with a large number of volunteers helping out on the day. Salinity Snapshot veterans team with new recruits to complete their sampling, which covers a large area from Wandering out to Popanyinning, down to Narrogin and across to Quindanning and Boddington.
Catherine said the ongoing collection of data allows for identification of possible trends over time, and comparison of waterways health from year to year.
"To date it has been heartening to see that salinity levels, whilst a problem in these river systems, do not appear to be increasing over time.
Results from this year's Salinity Snapshot will be compiled in a report which will be distributed to any interested parties. Data will be added to previous years data on the Department of Water's water quality database.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441