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SALINITY 
MANAGEMENT

Redefining dryland salinity management for new generation land custodians

Commencement date

February 2022

Completion date

November 2023

Aim

This project aims to address the significant knowledge gap of regenerative dryland salinity management.

Funding Provider

NRM

Project lead organisation

Liebe Group

Project background

Dryland salinity is a major cause of land degradation in the southwest of WA, with more than one million hectares being classified as severely salt-affected and a further 2.8 to 4.5 million hectares at risk. Saline soils are inhospitable for most common flora and fauna species, decreasing the area's biodiversity and making them an unsuitable environment both for agricultural purposes and native habitat.

 

Additionally, soils with higher levels of salinity often become bare with minimal ground cover, increasing erosion and further degradation. Throughout the Northern Zone of Rejuvenated Drainage hydrozone (i.e. Liebe Group Region), the past 20 years of drier seasons have seen saline areas spread at a variable rate.

 

More recently concerns have arisen due to the increasing variability of the climate that is affecting rainfall patterns with wetter summers and later seasonal breaks becoming more prevalent. The most recent major analysis of groundwater trends for the region was conducted in 2014, which resulted in highly complicated and technical outputs that were not easily interpreted at a landholder level.

 

The broadacre industry is also seeing a new generation of landholders taking on the primary decision making roles in their enterprises. It has been identified that although these landholders have strong values as custodians of the land for future generations, there is perceived conflict between production efficiencies of modern farming systems and the salinity management practices implemented by previous generations (ie contour banks, deep drainage).

Results and Reports

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