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Complexities of water quality in the Geographe catchment presented to community

The complexities of managing water quality in the Geographe catchment were presented to the community last week at the Revitalising Geographe Waterways Community Update in Busselton hosted by GeoCatch.

Over 50  members of the community were welcomed by Vasse Taskforce Chair Jackie Jarvis MLC who explained the bipartisan approach taken by the Taskforce since 2014 to improve water quality in the Geographe Catchment through the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program.

Jackie opened the event congratulating the City of Busselton on successfully securing an additional $400,000 for Stage 3 of the Lower Vasse River Sediment Project through the State Government’s Natural Resource Management program.

Dr Kath Lynch from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) presented on the challenges of improving water quality including legacy nutrients that have built up in the catchment over the last 100 years and future intensification in both the urban and agricultural catchments.

Kath also provided an update on the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program which aims to improve water quality by reducing nutrients off the catchment and undertaking remedial works such as sediment removal and modifying flows.

Mathilde Breton from the City of Busselton provided an update on the sediment removal project in the Lower Vasse River, explaining the challenges of removing sediment from the river but reinforcing the City’s commitment to completing the 2.5km stretch of river over three stages.

Feedback on the event showed that nearly 80% of attendees felt the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program was tracking well to achieve water quality improvement, although there was recognition that the work will take time.

Joel Hall from DWER presented on some of the monitoring and catchment modelling supporting the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program, including results of nutrient reductions to date from different actions including dairy effluent upgrades and fertiliser management.

Over 90% of participants felt confident in the science supporting the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program.

A general theme from the evaluations of the event was the importance of continuing actions to reduce nutrients and undertake remedial works to improve water quality.

The community update was delivered as part of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways and Healthy Estuaries WA and programs. These State Government initiatives aim to support the long-term health of our south-west estuaries.

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