Date of Award

1996

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering

First Advisor

Dr Mark Lund

Second Advisor

Dr Ray Froend

Abstract

There exists an urgent need to rehabilitate salt-affected and degraded wetlands in the south-west of Western Australia, particularly in water resource catchments. Various rehabilitation techniques have been developed for such areas, which address the problem of integrating water catchment management and surrounding land use. Despite this, there has been limited success in restoring salt affected wetlands in the south west region of Western Australia. This project was established to develop a method for the rehabilitation of wetlands in the south west of Western Australia, using the western Coollangatta Farmland wetland as a case study. This site was chosen because of its broad application in assessing rehabilitation potentials. It is on the western side of the new Collie Power Station, under construction in Collie. The site has been degraded by salinity, grazing and clearing. This study reviews rehabilitation practices in salt-affected wetlands and maps the physical features and vegetation of the catchment. It also examines the hydrology, distribution of salinity, and assesses nutrient sources of the site. Studies showed a deficit of 1189 m3 between inflow and discharge of water in the wetland in July, and discharge exceeded input by 7623.4m3 in August Interpretations of the hydrology of the wetland was made. Mean concentrations of total phosphorus were 21.9ug/L and total nitrogen was 5821.9 ug/L. Sources of the high total nitrogen concentrations were investigated. This study found that the methods used were suitable to prepare a rehabilitation plan within the time frame of this study. Areas that required specific treatment for revegetation were identified and an appropriate plan for separate management areas was formulated. The methods used in this study could be applied to formulate rehabilitation plans for similarly affected wetlands. However each site has its own unique problems and restrictions that need to be addressed. The landowner is very enthusiastic about the rehabilitation of the wetland, and community involvement in the project. The understanding gained by the methods of this study, enabled the development of an appropriate rehabilitation plan, which could be utilised in other areas of the south west of Western Australia.

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