"Live Stock Management & Watering Points"

Traditional agriculture practices have often involved unrestricted access to rivers and streams as a means of providing livestock with a reliable source of water. However, unrestricted stock access to waterways causes disturbance and pollution resulting in environmental degradation and loss of farm productivity.

Problems such as loss of native fringing (riparian) vegetation, weed invasion, soil compaction, erosion, and poor water quality can be avoided or at least minimised by restricting or preventing stock access to waterways and establishing alternative water sources.

There are a variety of alternatives to direct waterway access for watering stock. These include providing limited river access, using an alternative water supply such as a dam or piping or pumping water from the waterway into a trough.

The benefits of providing alternative water sources for stock include improved water quality by limiting sedimentation and nutrient enrichment, enhanced stock health through access to cleaner water, reduced loss of productive land, reduced stock deaths, less erosion of waterway banks and improved riparian habitats. Additional information regarding alternative watering points, including advice about design guidelines, is available from the Department of Water in Albany. Funding for fencing and alternate watering points is available through WICC.

What's happening in the Upper Catchment?

Land holders in the Upper Hay Catchment are receiving incentives for: soil health including soil testing and liming; engineering works for surface water management; fencing riparian and remnant vegetation to exclude stock; revegetating with natives in degraded areas and establishing deep rooted perennial pasture for improved water usage as part of the Upper Hay Strategic Catchment Plan. This plan is the community's catchment action plan that compliments the Wilson Inlet Nutrient Reduction Action Plan by providing the strategic direction and mechanisms for implementing and coordinating activities that will contain salinity and improve the health of the Upper Hay Catchment landscape and water quality of the Wilson Inlet and its waterways.

The Upper Hay catchment plan has incorporated the findings of research studies to address nutrient export from the catchment. With the Hay River having the largest catchment of all the rivers that flow into the Wilson Inlet, addressing nutrient and salinity issues in the Upper Hay will have a significant impact on the health of the Wilson Inlet. The Upper Hay Catchment Plan provides for expenditure on projects which will enable on ground work and actions to be undertaken to deal with issues at priority locations as recommended in the Wilson Inlet Catchment Compendium (1999).

This catchment plan represents only one step in a longer term vision for the catchment. Key areas will be tackled to give landholders an accelerated start for implementation of works to tackle nutrient, salinity, soil and biodiversity issues. Perhaps more importantly however is the focus on long term planning and implementation. This plan will establish demonstration sites to look at key soil health and nutrient management issues with a view to driving practice change. It will also develop long term farm business plans that will be fully costed and based on the latest soil, hydrological and nutrient management information. The aim is to have a long term plan that can be implemented by the landholder over a realistic time frame.

ActivityCompletedIn Progress
Soil testing15125
Liming (prior to establishing deep rooted perennial pasture)256 ha1600 ha
Deep rooted perennial pasture800 ha2700 ha
Fencing to exclude stock from waterways37 km190 km
Stock crossings1248
Alternate water points448
Revegetation2.1 ha160 ha
Engineering10.6 km84 km
Work completed so far by 56 landholders