The way in which people make use of and manage the land can affect the health of our waterways. The most significant impact from these activities is sediment from soil erosion. Sediment includes nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon which can cause environmental degradation.
On average, it is estimated that up to 500,000 tonnes of sediment is discharged to Moreton Bay each year. The major sources of this sediment are:
- Streambank or channel erosion, e.g. slumping, erosive scouring
- Erosion caused by infrastructure, e.g. roads
- Land clearing for housing and development
Predictive modelling indicates that on a quantity basis, the major rural land use contributing sediment to waterways is grazing areas, followed by intensive agriculture and broadacre agriculture. The significant contribution of grazing is explained by it being such a widespread land use in South East Queensland.
The adoption of sustainable land practices will help to reduce many of the key pollutants entering waterways from rural diffuse (overland run-off) sources. Through partnerships with SEQ Catchments and Queensland Wetlands Program, Healthy Waterways is helping build the capacity of land managers to carry out best management practices such as managing waterbodies as well as designing farm run-off treatment systems.
Examples of work undertaken by our members:
Ipswich City Council – Laidley Valley Flood Recovery Project: Helping farmers recover from the impacts of the January 2013 floods, by increasing the resilience of their land to future flood events.
Seqwater – Ling Landslip Remediation Project: The Ling property is a relatively small property in the Falls Creek catchment that has poor soils and steep slopes, and consequently suffers from extensive land slips that are severely impacting on Baroon Pocket Dam.
Maroochydore Landcare Group and Seqwater – Maroochy FarmFLOW: Delivering water quality improvements in the Upper South Maroochy catchment, specifically the area above the Intake Weir and Poona Dam which supplies drinking water for Sunshine Coast by helping rural landholders improve the condition of their land and offering financial incentives.
Find out about the projects undertaken by local landholders and community groups in your local catchment area to protect and improve our waterways, and how you can get involved.
What is Sediment?
Sediment are particles that are washed off the land into waterways and come in all shapes and sizes - from larger sand particles to smaller mud, clay and silt particles. Too much sediment can cause harm to the plants and animals that live in our waterways.
Did you know...
During the 2011 and 2013 floods, over 20 million tonnes of sediment was washed off the land and into our waterways.