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Indicators of Land Salinity Assessment

South Australia

Rural Solutions SA

Product Information

This report has investigated the practical application in South Australia of the recommended indicators and protocols for evaluating change in land salinity under the National Monitoring and Evaluation Framework. Several issues can be highlighted following the application of the indicators at the Narroonda and Cooke
Plains dryland trial sites.

General Applicability:

  • Depth to groundwater, and location, size and intensity of salt affected areas are the most informative indicators for South Australian conditions.
  • Longer-term time series data from application of the indicators is required for meaningful assessment of land salinity.
  • Regional NRM Boards are yet to finalise the specific details of their land salinity monitoring strategies, and are still negotiating with state agencies to determine the responsibilities of each.

Contextual Information:

  • Interpretation and extrapolation of results from application of the indicators need to be considered in the light of contextual information such as time since clearing, current land use, groundwater flow systems and longer-term climatic trends. 
  • Consideration also needs to be given to the asset (natural or man-made) under threat from land salinity, whether it be agricultural production, biodiversity or urban infrastructure. 
  • Benchmark values for land salinity in South Australia are available from several sources, including the NLWRA audit and the DWLBC Soil Landscape database.


Information Products:

  • There is a range of information products available in different formats, from hard copy publications  to digital data and imagery and modeled products.
  • A composite product that uses the time-series results from several indicators, and incorporates contextual information, is more informative. 
  • NRM Boards are developing specific M&E strategies within an integrated NRM framework. 
  • Land salinity monitoring results from both regional and state initiatives in South Australia can be adapted for use at the national level as appropriate.



  • That depth to groundwater and location, size and intensity of salt affected areas be the two main indicators for land salinity assessment.
  • That groundwater salinity and baseflow salinity indicators in dryland areas be utilised more as contextual information rather than as indicators of land salinity per se
  • That the application of indicators be appropriate with respect to regional and state Resource Condition Targets for salinity, and due consideration be given to the monitoring of multiple NRM issues at one site where appropriate
  • That due consideration be given to the asset under threat from land salinity when applying and interpreting indicators for land salinity.
  • That products from land salinity monitoring initiatives display interpretations of time-series data from the two main indicators, as well as appropriate contextual information.


There are no available resources for this item, it may be discontinued, out of print, or not available in electronic form.

Product Data

Rural Solutions SA
Product Type: 
Product Format: 
National Land and Water Resources Audit

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This publication is not attached to any projects.

id: 2593 / created: 20 August, 2008 / last updated: 04 September, 2008