King Island Natural Resource Management

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WaterWatch King Island

Aims:

To collect sound scientific data on the quality of King Island's key waterways
To inform & train the King Island community in "caring for waterways"
To establish and maintain an island wide community-based water quality program

So that we can know the quality of our water, care for our water, improve the health of our degraded waterways and to conserve King Islands' unique natural waterways.

Survey Sites:

Monitoring Sites MapYellow Rock, Sea Elephant, Egg Lagoon, Porky Creek, Yarra Creek, Fraser River, Ettrick River, Seal River, Grassy River

[Monitoring Sites - photo documentation]

Tests Conducted:

  • Salinity
  • Acidity (pH)
  • Water temperature
  • Nutrients
  • Silt
  • Macro-invertebrates
  • Streamside habitat

Checklist for Monitoring your own Property

  • The Right Choice
    The best equipment for your needs will depend on what you want to measure and why. The base quality of your water is also important.
  • Temperature
    Temperature changes depending on the time of day, weather, amount of rain, and shade cover. A simple thermometer is the best tool around.
  • Acidity (pH)
    The pH can be affected by acid sulphate soil runoff, lime sand applications and breakdown of plant material. Paper strips that change colour, or an electronic meter can test it.
  • Conductivity (salts)
    Conductivity is an indicator of pollution, saline runoff, and saline groundwater. Conductivity can vary significantly, and an electronic meter is best.
  • Phosphate
    Phosphate (P) tests help to indicate fertiliser runoff. Tablet based colour comparison kits, or meters can be used.
  • Nitrate
    Nitrate (N) tests measure for agricultural runoff, industrial wastes and sewage. It is easily absorbed by plants, and so mostly occurs in low levels. Similar kits to P can be used.
  • Turbidity
    Turbidity measures water clarity and is an indicator of soil erosion. Turbidity tubes (to test light penetration), or electric meters can be used.

Highlights:

Platypus Project 2000 -community based platypus surveys
Lets Get Wet Workshop -where school children demonstrated and taught water testing techniques to the adults
Local Waterways Photo Competition
Clean Up Camp Creek Catchment Day
King Island Waterwatch Calendar 2002

Events:

National Water Week activities program
Annual Freshwater Festival Display Night Achievements

Achievements:

2001 Race Around the Catchment Video Competition - King Island District High School State Winners
2000 Race Around the Catchment Video Competition - King Island District High School State Runners-up
Local community water monitoring training programs
Raised local awareness of stream management and conservation

Further Concerns

The King Island community has identified several issues of concern for our waterways:

  • Salinity
  • Water logging and poor drainage
  • Nutrient runoff, and associated blue green algae outbreaks
  • Erosion of creek and river systems
  • Water pollution
  • Acid sulphate drainage
  • Sedimentation and degradation of rivers and creeks due to uncontrolled livestock access
  • Loss of native vegetation along river ways
  • Degradation of coastal lagoons

King Island Waterwatch is working to investigate and monitor these issues.