26 September 2023

New guidelines for healthier waterways

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The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has developed new best practice guidelines for nutrient management to assist grazing farmers in Western Australia’s South-West.

In a statement, the Department said the guidelines provided valuable information to help grazing farmers maximise stock productivity while minimising environmental impacts in local waterways.

“They have been developed over the past two years with input from farmers, scientists, catchment groups and fertiliser industry representatives,” the Department said.

“The best practice guidelines focus on the optimal use of fertiliser and increasing productivity, reducing environmental impacts on our precious South-West waterways,” it said.

The Department said more than 70 per cent of phosphorus and nitrogen entering South-West estuaries comes from grazing properties, making this type of land use the largest contributor of these nutrients to local waterways.

“The best practice guidelines will play an important role in reducing nutrient runoff and improving ecosystem water quality,” the Department said.

“The new guidelines have been developed as part of the Healthy Estuaries WA and the Revitalising Geographe Waterways programs,” it said.

“They are supported through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.”

Minister for Water, Dave Kelly said the guidelines were a valuable resource for farmers and would help them reduce nutrient run-off into local waterways while maintaining the productivity of their grazing farms.

“Providing best practice guidance to agricultural industries will assist in improving water quality and biodiversity in our waterways,” Mr Kelly said.

The best practice guidelines are available on the Healthy Estuaries WA website at this PS News link.

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