Threats to our waterways
Waterways are complex ecosystems with intricate relationships between the flora, fauna and non-living components such as water quality, flow regime and habitat. The balance between these living and non-living components can be changed by human activities in waterways and their catchments, and can lead to the deterioration of waterway health.
This has consequences for the economic, social and environmental values of our waterways.
In Western Australia the threats and risks to the health of our waterways include:
- Poor water sediment quality including eutrophication (nutrient enrichment), non-nutrient contaminants, salinisation and low dissolved oxygen
- Altered flow including through climate change
- Barriers to connectivity
- Clearing of vegetation in the catchment and riparian zone
- Erosion and sedimentation
- Livestock access to waterways which increases nutrients and erosion
- Algal blooms and fish kill events
- Introduced animal and plant species
For further information about waterways see: