Hotham Williams Murray river salinity recovery project
Released 10 Sep 2008
The significant rainfalls experienced this winter have environmental scientists at the Peel Waterways Centre in Mandurah excited about a wealth of new information on the health of our rivers which are now flowing through.
The rains have provided the first real workout for two new water gauging stations installed over the summer as one part of the Hotham Williams Murray River Salinity Recovery Project – a partnership project involving the Department of Water, the Peel–Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC) and GHD.
PHCC executive officer Damien Postma said the stations were a major investment in better understanding of how salinity is affecting our rivers and estuaries.
Mr Postma said funding for the project was provided by the South West Catchments Council with support from the Australian and Western Australian Governments.
"We've invested around $60,000 in building two new gauging stations on the Crossman River and 14 Mile Brook," he said.
"These stations provide computerised measurements of a range of factors including flow levels, pH and salinity levels.
"The consistent rains we had throughout winter provided the first big test for the stations and the results will now be analysed by hydrographers and salinity experts at the Department of Water."
The department's coordinator of the Peel Waterways Centre, Bob Pond said salinity not only affected farmlands, but also the health of rivers and nearby vegetation.
"These new stations, combined with the other aspects of the project, will be used to help build our knowledge of how salinity is changing over time," Bob said.
"In turn, this will help us advise landholders about the best ways to tackle this problem."
Mr Postma said the gauging stations would also play an important on-going role as an early warning system on potential floods and would help measure how climate change is affecting our rivers.
The project featured in one of the Peel Waterways Centre's regular public lectures last Thursday (September 11).
Contact: Dianne Dixon
Phone: (08) 6364 6983 / 041 991 0847