Landholders in the Kentucky Creek Dam catchment are taking their own action to prevent soil loss, stop silt from ending up in the dam, and help with water security for Uralla.
The 12-month project will help landholders design options for slowing overland waterflow that carries silt into Kentucky Creek Dam. These options will focus on practical solutions that work under local conditions and integrate with farm operations.
Three landholders, with the conviction to act on water for future generations, are partnering with ZNET Uralla and Stringybark Ecological with support from a New England Solar Farm Grant. The landholders include James and Elaine Croft, whose property Bareena drains into Kentucky Dam.
“This project offers the potential for catchment land managers to be directly involved in maintaining and improving the security of the Uralla Water Supply into the future,” Mr Croft said.
Slowing overland water means less soil loss and more moisture retained in the soil, with benefits to pasture production and longevity of dam storage. Over the 80-year life of the dam, estimated silt build up has reduced dam capacity by 30%.
The first job will be to map target areas in the catchment for soil stabilisation. Next landholders will explore how water slowing actions, used by farmers in similar catchments, can be implemented. This will be led by Dave Carr from Stringybark Ecological who has successfully worked with landholders in other catchments to reduce soil loss.
“This project will result in a win for farmers and a win for the community by working out the best ways to retain water and topsoil on farms rather than have it end up in the water supply dam,” Mr Carr said.
Other landholders can join the group and findings will be shared through a workshop open to all catchment landholders and interested parties.
Silt management is only a small part of overall water security, and the effort of catchment landholders will complement actions being taken by Uralla Shire Council to investigate the full range of options canvassed for water security (Let’s Talk About Water – www.zneturalla.org.au/water )
For further information please contact Dave Carr (Stringybark Ecological, 0418 651 263) or Sandra Eady (ZNET Uralla, 0428 199 044).
Top image: project participants looking at plans near Kentucky Creek Dam