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Assessment of the National Land Salinity Indicators in Tasmania

Bastick C, Miller J, Pinkard G

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In early 2006 the National Land and Water Resources Audit commissioned a project in each state to trial the applicability of the recommended indicators and protocols for the evaluation of land salinity under the National Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.
The four land salinity indicators trialled were depth to groundwater, groundwater salinity, baseflow salinity and location size and intensity of salt affected areas. In Tasmania, the trial was undertaken in the Back Creek Catchment, which is located west of Longford and Cressy in Northern Tasmania. It is a catchment with a mix of dryland and irrigated grazing and cropping.

For the trial area, this document provides a report on:

  • Where land monitoring data is being collected and reported according to agreed national standards
  • The methods and measurements used for monitoring land salinity indicator data
  • The contextual information that would be required to interpret the results of monitoring the indicators
  • The type of information products that could be produced as a result of the application of the indicators
  • The usefulness, usability and scalability of the indicators
  • The capital and annual costs associated with monitoring of the indicators
  • The data access and monitoring requirements that would apply to information collated and published by the Audit
  • The potential for integrating monitoring activity and information between region, state and national levels.

The report also provides comments on the status of land salinity information in the remainder of Tasmania.

The trial showed that:

  • Depth to groundwater, in combination with groundwater salinity, is the most applicable indicator to evaluate change in salinity in Tasmania
  • Baseflow salinity is not readily applicable in this state, surface water salinity (salinity concentration plus flow) is a more useful indicator
  • Location size and intensity of salt affected land indicator is also not readily applicable due, amongst other things, to difficulties in collecting repeatable measurements of the size of scalds both in pasture and cropping situations.
  • While the draft protocols give some guidance to methodology, measurements and standards to be used for each indicator, there are major gaps in the protocols and these deficiencies need to be addressed.
PN21305.pdf6.95 MB

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Bastick C, Miller J, Pinkard G
Product Type: 
Final Report
Product Format: 
Department of Primary Industries and Water Tasmania

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This publication is not attached to any projects.

id: 2398 / created: 18 July, 2008 / last updated: 05 September, 2008