Hon Simone McGurk BA(Arts) BA(Comms) MLA

Hon Simone McGurk BA(Arts) BA(Comms) MLA

Minister for Training; Water; Youth

    New monitoring plan provides snapshot of Geographe Waterways

    23/12/2022 11:00 AM
     
    • Improving water quality in Geographe waterways is a continued focus of the plan
    • The current phase of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program runs until 2024
    • The program has been overseen by the Vasse Taskforce since 2014

    A new science and monitoring plan that provides insight into the health of the Geographe Waterways has been released.

     

    The two-year plan, released as part of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways (RGW) program, will boost efforts to improve water quality and inform State and local government agencies, universities, catchment groups and the community of activities being undertaken.

     

    The current phase of the program runs until 2024 and continues with on-ground actions to reduce nutrients from urban and rural areas, monitoring of priority waterways, implementing water management plans and communicating and engaging with the community.

     

    To date the RGW program has reduced an estimated 2.5 tonnes of phosphorus and 9 tonnes of nitrogen from entering Geographe Bay through programs working with farmers to improve fertiliser, dairy effluent and riparian management. 

     

    This work, combined with changes in flow management and removing sediment, is contributing to reducing nutrients in key waterways including the Lower Vasse River and Vasse Wonnerup wetlands. 

     

    Ongoing monitoring of water quality and on-ground works is a critical component of the RGW program to assess the effectiveness of management actions designed to reduce nutrients and improve water quality. 

     

    The RGW program has been overseen by the Vasse Taskforce since 2014, with investment from State Government, Taskforce Partners, industry and community.

     

    The 2017 plan has been reviewed and updated to document the monitoring and science of the RGW program 2022-2024 and includes a summary of science and monitoring work undertaken between 2015 and 2021. The RGW science and monitoring plan 2022-2024 will be implemented through funding from the State Government's RGW and Healthy Estuaries WA programs.

     

    Science, monitoring, and modelling are important components of the RGW program that aims to improve water quality, waterway health and management of Geographe waterways.

     

    In 2017, the Catchment to Coast Science, modelling, and monitoring plan 2016-2019 was developed, with input from the Vasse Wonnerup Science Advisory Group, to guide monitoring for the RGW program. The recent plan builds upon the 2017 plan with a continued focus on monitoring and improving water quality in Geographe waterways. 

     

    Comments attributed to Water Minister Simone McGurk:

     

    "Improving water quality in Geographe waterways is at the heart of this program and the plan provides the roadmap to monitor and assess the progress.

     

    "These waterways provide habitat for native freshwater fish and aquatic plants, and there is considerable interest in the science and monitoring of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program by the local community.

     

    "The launch of this document provides an opportunity to highlight the strong science basis of this program."

     

    Comments attributed to Vasse Taskforce Chair Jackie Jarvis:

     

    "Improving awareness, collaboration, and confidence within the community in the management of Geographe waterways has been a priority for the Vasse Taskforce and Revitalising Geographe Waterways program.

     

    "Communicating and sharing the science and monitoring findings of this plan will continue to be a focus over the next two years.

     

    "Timely and effective communication to both the community and waterway managers will support an enhanced understanding of Geographe waterways and inform adaptive management if required."

     

    Minister's office - 6552 6600