Local turf managers get Fertilise Wise - RGW https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au Wed, 05 Jun 2019 01:14:00 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 Local turf managers get Fertilise Wise https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/local-turf-managers-get-fertilise-wise/ Fri, 31 May 2019 04:10:31 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6388 Twenty two local landscapers and turf managers learnt how to grow great grass and be smarter with their fertiliser use last week at a ‘Fertilise Wise’ workshop organised by GeoCatch. The training was delivered by turf expert John Forrest from Forrest & Forrest Horticulture Consulting Services who taught participants about sustainable turf establishment, soil requirements, […]

The post Local turf managers get Fertilise Wise appeared first on RGW.

]]>
Twenty two local landscapers and turf managers learnt how to grow great grass and be smarter with their fertiliser use last week at a ‘Fertilise Wise’ workshop organised by GeoCatch.

The training was delivered by turf expert John Forrest from Forrest & Forrest Horticulture Consulting Services who taught participants about sustainable turf establishment, soil requirements, types of fertilisers and how to apply them correctly.

GeoCatch project officer Lisa Massey says the Fertilise Wise Fertiliser training program is an initiative of the Perth-based Phosphorus Awareness Project which trains turf managers and local government officers in fertiliser best management practices.

“GeoCatch recognized we needed John’s expertise with the training program to help reduce fertiliser entering our waterways and Geographe Bay from larger areas of turf and public open space” said Lisa.

“We know a large amount of nutrients leave these areas and end up in our rivers, wetlands and Bay, so it is a priority for GeoCatch to work with this industry”.

A large part of the day was spent learning how to calculate required rates of nutrient applications based on soil and tissue testing. Participants found they could reduce their ongoing costs of fertiliser purchases and maintenance by determining the exact nutrition their turfs require.

Participant John Keil found the day very informative, saying that after the training he intends to apply fertiliser according to the plant’s requirements and recommended application rates, as opposed to guessing.

“I learnt that application of fertiliser is generally in excess of what is required by plants” he said.

Chris Blackwell of Down South Turf gained useful skills in calculating fertiliser rates and plans to make some changes to his turf management.

“Learning the methods of how to calculate the required nutrient rates for fertilising means that I will be producing perfect turf from now on” said Chris.

Upon completion of the workshop, participants received a certificate recognizing their training in fertiliser management of turfs.

“It can be difficult to grow productive lawn and gardens in this catchment’s poor sandy soils. However, turf managers and gardeners can maximize the benefit of fertiliser and water to their lawns and gardens by learning to use them correctly, which will also save them money and help protect the local waterways” said Lisa.

GeoCatch’s Bay OK project is part of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program which is supported by the State Government to improve water quality, waterway health and management of Geographe waterways.

The post Local turf managers get Fertilise Wise appeared first on RGW.

]]>
WA water program recognised for innovation https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/wa-water-program-recognised-for-innovation/ Thu, 23 May 2019 02:53:05 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6369 The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) featured prominently at this year’s Australian Water Association’s National Awards. After winning the State award category for Program Innovation, DWER’s Revitalising Geographe Waterways initiative was a finalist in the National Program Innovation Award competing against other great projects at the Ozwater ’19 Gala Dinner, held in Melbourne […]

The post WA water program recognised for innovation appeared first on RGW.

]]>
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) featured prominently at this year’s Australian Water Association’s National Awards.

After winning the State award category for Program Innovation, DWER’s Revitalising Geographe Waterways initiative was a finalist in the National Program Innovation Award competing against other great projects at the Ozwater ’19 Gala Dinner, held in Melbourne last week.

The local program was recognised for its unique collaborative approach to program management; bringing together the community, scientists and managers to improve water quality, health and better management of Geographe waterways.

DWER District Manager Regional Delivery Dr Kath Lynch, gave credit to the dedicated team of staff and project partners that make Revitalising Geographe Waterways such a successful program.

“I’m very proud of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways achievements which are leading the way in collaborative program management.”

“The program has been successful in accelerating improvements in water quality, halting and even reversing water quality declines in key waterways to protect the long term health of Geographe Bay,” said Dr Lynch.

The Vasse Taskforce is the driving force behind Revitalising Geographe Waterways and has representation from state and local government, water service providers and catchment groups.

The program was developed to address major barriers to water quality improvement in the Geographe region, including a lack of overarching coordination, unclear roles and responsibilities and limited opportunity for community input.

The award-winning program has been extended for a further year with $1.6 million allocated in the State Budget.

Enjoy some Revitalising Geographe Waterways achievements in this short video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbKaY2zCo2w&feature=youtu.be&t=1.

For more information on Revitalising Geographe Waterways visit https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au

The post WA water program recognised for innovation appeared first on RGW.

]]>
Catchment bus tour boosts community understanding https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/catchment-bus-tour-boosts-community-understanding/ Wed, 08 May 2019 05:58:24 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6363 Over 50 enthusiastic community members saw water quality management in action last week at GeoCatch’s 2019 Revitalising Geographe Waterways Community Bus Tour. Attendees welcomed the opportunity to speak directly with farmers and waterway managers from DWER GeoCatch, WC and City of Busselton. They viewed five sites: Vasse surge barrier, Lower Vasse River, Vasse Diversion Drain […]

The post Catchment bus tour boosts community understanding appeared first on RGW.

]]>
Over 50 enthusiastic community members saw water quality management in action last week at GeoCatch’s 2019 Revitalising Geographe Waterways Community Bus Tour.

Attendees welcomed the opportunity to speak directly with farmers and waterway managers from DWER GeoCatch, WC and City of Busselton. They viewed five sites: Vasse surge barrier, Lower Vasse River, Vasse Diversion Drain and two local farms.

GeoCatch Chair Felicity Bradshaw said the community was really interested to hear about the challenges and complexity of water quality management in the Geographe Bay Catchment.

“Those who attended were impressed at the amount of work being done in this space, and surprised by how complex water quality management can be,” she said.

“The Vasse surge barrier, in particular, sparked a lot of questions from the community.

“It was wonderful to hear about the history of the barrier, and how managers are trying to balance water quality, fish health, waterbirds and public amenity values,” said Felicity.

Attendees said that the bus trip was an excellent way to learn about water quality challenges.

“Talking to real people is much more enjoyable than reading this information,” said community member Helen Taylor.

“I came to find out more about our waterways from the experts to educate myself.”

Visits to local beef and dairy farms working to reduce nutrient loss off farm were a highlight of the trip.

The Haddon family, who run one of the largest dairy farms in the Catchment, have been working with GeoCatch to upgrade their effluent system and have participated in soil testing programs.

Community member, Ian Rotheram, was keen to see firsthand how effluent is managed on farm.

“I didn’t expect dairy effluent management to be so complex,” he said.

“I thought dairy sheds accounted for the majority of effluent, however it was interesting to hear how most of it is managed beyond the dairy shed across the rest of the farm.”

Beef farmer, Ross Prater shared his story about fencing over 5km of creeks on his Walsall property with support from GeoCatch, protecting 19ha of native vegetation on his farm.

Ross is also a keen participant of GeoCatch’s soil testing program and was thrilled with the agronomic support that the project provided and the difference it’s made to his pasture and fertiliser use.

“I believe that if we as farmers have a future, we have to look after the environment,” Ross said.

“The bus trip was a great way to showcase the projects and the people working in our Catchment to improve water quality,” said Felicity.

“The feedback showed that it was a great way for community members to better understand what is being done and how important this work is.”

The Revitalising Geographe Waterways program is supported by the State Government to improve water quality, waterway health and management of Geographe waterways.

The post Catchment bus tour boosts community understanding appeared first on RGW.

]]>
State Budget extends award-winning water program https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/state-budget-extends-award-winning-water-program/ Tue, 30 Apr 2019 07:20:13 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6344 The McGowan Government is extending an award-winning water improvement program with $1.6 million allocated in the upcoming State Budget. The money is earmarked for the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program which aims to improve water quality, waterway health and better manage the Geographe waterways. The program, which is due to finish its four-year, State-funded run in […]

The post State Budget extends award-winning water program appeared first on RGW.

]]>

The McGowan Government is extending an award-winning water improvement program with $1.6 million allocated in the upcoming State Budget.

The money is earmarked for the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program which aims to improve water quality, waterway health and better manage the Geographe waterways.

The program, which is due to finish its four-year, State-funded run in June, has been extended for a further year to ensure water quality improvements and nutrient reductions in the Geographe catchment can continue under the oversight of the interagency Vasse Taskforce.

“This Budget funding allows for the continued monitoring of the Vasse Wonnerup wetlands and priority waterways – crucial to identifying key ecosystem features and threats – so we can target our actions and resources to protect and improve waterway health and water quality” said Hon Dave Kelly Minister for Water; Fisheries; Forestry; Innovation and ICT; Science.

“The Vasse Taskforce is the driving force behind Revitalising Geographe Waterways and has representation from State and local governments, water service providers and catchment groups. I would like to thank Chair Sally Talbot and all taskforce members for their ongoing commitment and hard work in support of the program” said Minister Kelly.

Since the inception of the program in 2015, there has been a significant reduction in nutrients (phosphorous and/or nitrogen) in 75 per cent of Geographe waterways. Improved fertiliser management over the last 10 years has also seen 2,000 kilograms a year of less phosphorous entering the Vasse Wonnerup wetlands and Geographe Bay.

This additional funding will add value to the existing program through a range of actions which will continue the substantial improvements made to the Geographe catchment while raising awareness and information to the community on water quality issues and progress.

“Our waterways have important aquatic values, some providing habitat for threatened and priority species, and are of high value to both the local community and visitors” said Minister Kelly.

“This project is an example of how the McGowan Government is working with partner agencies and local governments to improve water quality, waterway health and the management of Geographe waterways.”

The Revitalising Geographe Waterways program – 2018 WA Water Association Award winners in the Program Innovation category – is supported by the State Government’s $20 million Regional Estuaries Initiative.

See media statement here.

 

The post State Budget extends award-winning water program appeared first on RGW.

]]>
State Budget extends award-winning water program https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/vasse-surge-barrier-demonstrated-its-importance-in-flood-protection-2-2-2/ Tue, 30 Apr 2019 06:52:13 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6354 https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2019/04/State-Budget-extends-award-winning-water-program.aspx 

The post State Budget extends award-winning water program appeared first on RGW.

]]>
https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2019/04/State-Budget-extends-award-winning-water-program.aspx 

The post State Budget extends award-winning water program appeared first on RGW.

]]>
Trial successful at improving liveability https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/trial-successful-at-improving-liveability/ Wed, 17 Apr 2019 06:46:27 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6329 A trial to physically remove a rotting algal mat along the shoreline of the Vasse Estuary was carried out last week to see if the algae could be removed successfully to alleviate foul smells and provide relief to Wonnerup residents. Sandgroper Contractors used a liquid waste truck with a boom hose to remove the algal […]

The post Trial successful at improving liveability appeared first on RGW.

]]>
A trial to physically remove a rotting algal mat along the shoreline of the Vasse Estuary was carried out last week to see if the algae could be removed successfully to alleviate foul smells and provide relief to Wonnerup residents.

Sandgroper Contractors used a liquid waste truck with a boom hose to remove the algal mats that had accumulated alongside James Richardson Park at Wonnerup.  The technique had been used successfully in the past at removing algal scum at the Vasse surge barriers.

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) Environmental Officer, Dr Jo Browne was on-site and said removal of the algal mat was a trial and error process for the contractor who used a few different techniques before they were able to successfully suck up the scum.

“Eventually the contractor used water to hose the rotting algal mat to break it up and dilute it so that it could then be sucked off the surface of the mud” said Jo.

The process took around seven hours to complete, with most of the algal mat removed where it had built up along the Estuary View Drive shoreline. Following the removal of the algal matt, contractors transported the material for disposal at Water Corporation’s wastewater treatment plant.

The algae was identified by the DWERs Phytoplankton Ecology Unit as a cyanobaterium, Oscillatoria spp that forms benthic mat ecosystems.

“Benthic species are much more resilient to salinity changes than aquatic species as the benthic species create their own environment with mucus.  It is this mucus that ultimately causes them to float up and bring the sulfide to the surface causing the foul smells” said Jo.

Over the last four years the DWER have been trialling different management of the Vasse surge barrier over summer months to improve water quality in the estuary and reduce the risk of fish kills.

Over the last two years seawater has been allowed into the estuary earlier in the summer and maintained at higher water levels than historically.

“Increasing salinity and water levels in the Vasse estuary has been really successful reducing phytoplankton blooms and improving conditions for fish in the Vasse estuary channel” said Jo.

“Unfortunately the algal species that formed the mats are happy in saline conditions that occur in early autumn so altering management of seawater inflows would not have made a difference” said Jo.  “Physical removal was really the only option so we were really pleased that the trial was a success”.

The DWER will continue to monitor the water quality in the Vasse estuary channel and the algal build-up to determine how effective the removal has been in the longer term.

Local residents have also been asked to fill out a survey to see if there has been an improvement in odour after the removal.  Based on the feedback a cost benefit analysis will be undertaken to determine if this activity should be ongoing.

The trial was part of Revitalising Geographe Waterways which is a state government initiative aiming to improve water quality, waterway health and management of Geographe waterways.

 

The post Trial successful at improving liveability appeared first on RGW.

]]>
Health check reveals Vasse River is swimming with native species https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/health-check-reveals-vasse-river-is-swimming-with-native-species/ Fri, 22 Mar 2019 04:12:46 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6303 A health check of the Vasse River has revealed its significant ecological value with a system rich in native fish and crayfish. Scientists from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) compared three sites as part of the Healthy Rivers program. The findings, which included data on water quality, vegetation, fish and macroinvertebrate (bugs), […]

The post Health check reveals Vasse River is swimming with native species appeared first on RGW.

]]>
A health check of the Vasse River has revealed its significant ecological value with a system rich in native fish and crayfish.

Scientists from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) compared three sites as part of the Healthy Rivers program.

The findings, which included data on water quality, vegetation, fish and macroinvertebrate (bugs), were presented to around 50 community members at yesterday’s science seminar hosted by GeoCatch in Busselton.

Environmental Officer Bronwyn Rennie, said it was pleasing to see the high quantities of native species across all sites with comparatively low numbers of exotic fish.

“Vasse River provides refuge to a variety of native species including Carter’s freshwater mussel, marron, gilgies, nightfish, western minnow, western hardyhead, western pygmy-perch and blue-spot goby.

“The Upper Vasse site was a great example of landholders implementing best practice by fencing off the river and protecting it from livestock. This has allowed the native vegetation to grow back, as well as protecting the river bank and instream habitat.”

Bronwyn was also encouraged to see the Lower Vasse River maintain high ecological values despite poorer water quality and one site covered with water lilies.

“Monitoring river health allows us to identify key ecosystem features and threats, so we can target efforts to protect and improve waterway health and water quality,” said Bronwyn.

The intention is to repeat the ecological monitoring every few years so scientists can track the river’s condition and ensure sustainability into the future, particularly in response to a changing climate and increasing population.

The Vasse River health study is an initiative of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program supported by the State Government’s Regional Estuaries Initiative.

A copy of the Vasse River Field summary of river condition can be downloaded here. 

The post Health check reveals Vasse River is swimming with native species appeared first on RGW.

]]>
Vasse sandbar opening expected to improve water quality https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/vasse-sandbar-opening-expected-to-improve-water-quality/ Wed, 20 Feb 2019 04:18:31 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6272 The sandbar at the entrance of the Vasse Diversion Drain in Busselton has been opened as part of a trial to improve water quality in warmer months. During summer, water quality in the lower parts of the drain can deteriorate due to low flows, warm water temperature, and high levels of nutrients. At this time […]

The post Vasse sandbar opening expected to improve water quality appeared first on RGW.

]]>
The sandbar at the entrance of the Vasse Diversion Drain in Busselton has been opened as part of a trial to improve water quality in warmer months.

During summer, water quality in the lower parts of the drain can deteriorate due to low flows, warm water temperature, and high levels of nutrients. At this time of year, most of the outlet between the drain and the ocean closes up, reducing water flow in this section of the drain.

The opening of the sandbar last week follows a series of initiatives to revitalise the Vasse Diversion Drain to improve water quality, visual amenity and liveability.

Prior to opening the sandbar, water quality samples were taken by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) and will be repeated as the drain has time to flush.

Results from the water quality monitoring will indicate what impact the opening has had on improving conditions in the drain, while drone footage being taken before and after the operation will show if a visual improvement can be observed.

Dr Sally Talbot MLC, Vasse Taskforce Chair said the trial opening is part of the McGowan Government’s Revitalising Geographe Waterways program, which has been successful in improving water quality by opening sandbars at Toby Inlet and Wonnerup Inlet.

“The trial is backed by years of data that we’ve collected about how to improve the health of our waterways, but it’s vitally important that we listen to the feedback of people living in the local area when we do the assessment of the science” Dr Talbot said.

The trial is part of the Vasse Taskforce’s Revitalising Geographe Waterways partnership between DWER and GeoCatch, the City of Busselton and Water Corporation – with the local community also invited to provide feedback on the sandbar opening via an online survey.

“I encourage the community to complete the survey and tell us if they have noticed any water quality improvements in the drain, and any other impacts from the sandbar opening, which will help us determine if the trial should be repeated in future years” Dr Talbot said.

For more information, or to complete the community survey, visit the Revitalising Geographe Waterways website at rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/rethinking-drainage/

 

 

The post Vasse sandbar opening expected to improve water quality appeared first on RGW.

]]>
Draft Plans open for public comment https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/6250-2/ Fri, 08 Feb 2019 04:01:42 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6250 Three draft plans that will help determine how our local wetlands and waterways are managed into the future are now available for public comment. The three plans will guide future management actions to improve waterway health and water quality in the Lower Vasse River, Toby Inlet and the Vasse Wonnerup wetlands. The City of Busselton […]

The post Draft Plans open for public comment appeared first on RGW.

]]>
Three draft plans that will help determine how our local wetlands and waterways are managed into the future are now available for public comment.

The three plans will guide future management actions to improve waterway health and water quality in the Lower Vasse River, Toby Inlet and the Vasse Wonnerup wetlands.

The City of Busselton has led the development of the Lower Vasse River and Toby Inlet waterway management plans. Environment Officer Robyn Paice says the development of these plans has been a collaborative process over the past three years that has involved considerable input from the community, scientists and managers of the waterways.

“We are encouraging the community to have their say on the plans so that they can help shape the future management of these iconic water assets” said Robyn.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions has led development of the Vasse Wonnerup Operational Plan. Planning Officer Grace Patorniti says “Community feedback on the draft operational plan is important because it helps shape how the conservation, cultural and social values of this area of local and international importance is managed”.

The Vasse Wonnerup wetlands Collaboration group and Toby Inlet Community Advisory Group were central to the development of the plans and critical in defining the management objectives to guide future management of these locally and internationally important waterways, wetlands and estuaries.

The plans are part of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program and have been informed by the extensive science program undertaken over the last three years.

To view and given feedback on the waterway management plans for the Lower Vasse River and Toby Inlet, visit the City of Busselton ‘Your Say’ portal https://yoursay.busselton.wa.gov.au/waterways.

To view and given feedback on the operational plan for the Vasse Wonnerup wetlands, visit the Revitalising Geographe Waterways website https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/vasse-wonnerup-wetland/

Submissions for the Lower Vasse River and Toby Inlet Plans close on 27 February and the Vasse Wonnerup Plan on 22 March 2019. Submissions will be reviewed and will contribute to the development of the final plans, due for completion in June 2019.

The post Draft Plans open for public comment appeared first on RGW.

]]>
Soil testing a win for our farmers and our waterways https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/soil-testing-a-win-for-our-farmers-and-our-waterways/ Wed, 23 Jan 2019 03:17:06 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6224 Local soil testing contractors will finish soil sampling across 21 farms in the Geographe catchment this week as part of a three year program that is hoped will be a win-win for both farmers and our waterways. The soil testing is part of a three year program that is helping farmers make evidence-based decisions on […]

The post Soil testing a win for our farmers and our waterways appeared first on RGW.

]]>
Local soil testing contractors will finish soil sampling across 21 farms in the Geographe catchment this week as part of a three year program that is hoped will be a win-win for both farmers and our waterways.

The soil testing is part of a three year program that is helping farmers make evidence-based decisions on their fertiliser use.

GeoCatch Project Coordinator Bree Brown says soil testing programs undertaken across the south west in recent years show that around 70% of paddocks have more phosphorus than needed to support pasture growth.

“Our program gives farmers paddock by paddock information to help them fine tune their fertiliser needs. In many cases this leads to a reduction in fertiliser use and a cost saving to the farmer, which is also great news for our waterways” said Bree.

Bree says that although pastures used for grazing may seem a long way from our rivers and wetlands, agricultural fertilisers are the major source of nutrients to waterways, where they contribute to water quality problems.

With over 46% of Geographe farms having now participated in the soil testing program over the past 10 years, farmers are now seeing firsthand the benefits of having detailed soil information for each paddock on their farm.

Yalyalup farmer David Gow says he has found the detailed information received in the program is helping him with his fertiliser decisions.

“It’s fantastic to have such thorough information for all of my paddocks, and the maps make it really easy to see what my nutrient levels are at a glance” said David.

The next stage of the program following soil testing will be workshops in February where farmers receive their results, maps, and have Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Officers and local agronomists on hand to discuss results with farmers.

Agronomic advice given at the workshop will help farmers fine tune their fertiliser applications, potentially saving money and reducing the risk of surplus nutrients ending up in waterways.

Soil testing is just one of the ways GeoCatch and our partners are working to improve water quality in our rivers, wetlands and estuaries under the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program. For more information visit the Revitalising Geographe Waterways website www.rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au.

The post Soil testing a win for our farmers and our waterways appeared first on RGW.

]]>