- Irrigation & Drainage
  - Wetlands & Floodplains
  - Water Quality
  - Conservation & Biodiversity
  - Education & Awareness
  - Monitoring & Evaluation




Page last updated: 28/11/08

Water Quality

The prosperity of the region is closely linked to the availability of good quality water for beneficial uses including: irrigation; industrial; domestic; recreation and tourism.  The major water quality problems identified in the LBLAP area are salinity, high nutrient levels, bacteria and turbidity.

Water quality within the region is affected by a number of factors. These include:

  • Quality and quantity of water received from across the South Australian Border
  • Natural and irrigation-induced groundwater flows to the river within South Australia
  • Increased diversions of water to irrigation, urban, industrial, stock and domestic uses resulting in reduced flows to dilute pollutants
  • Land use, waste disposal and land management practices in South Australia


LBLAP has three primary strategies to address the issue of water quality within the region. These are
:

  • Preventing irrigation drainage entering the River Murray.
  • Preventing effluent entering the River Murray.
  • Divert stormwater from the River Murray.

Work Conducted and Underway

Through Land and Water Management Planning, LBLAP has sought to improve irrigation practices to reduce the amount of irrigation drainage entering the River Murray.

Water Quantity, Not Quality

Funnily enough, salinity in the River Murray itself (above Lock 1) has not been a significant issue in the recent drought, non-flood years.  Although, if and when a flood event does occur, a considerable salt load that is currently sitting on the floodplains will be released into the main river.  The quantity of water available has been the greater issue since 03-04 and a significant problem since 07-08.  Because of an ongoing drought and some of the worst years for inflows in recorded history (including the worst), there has been a severe shortage of water across the Murray Darling Basin, with water available for irrigation diversion hit the hardest.

The Silver Lining (if there is one)

The shortage of water has led to the accelerated uptake of more efficient means of irrigation and also irrigation regimes being more tightly monitored and adjusted as needed, to maximise the potential of the small amount of water available.,

 


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