Salinity

Salt is a natural part of the Australian landscape but can become a serious problem when carried by water to where it threatens:

  • agricultural land
  • infrastructure such as roads and buildings
  • water resources
  • the environmental assets such as wetlands

This process is called salinisation, and careful natural resource management is needed to manage the impact of past salinisation and reduce the potential, where possible, for future problems.  Investment in salinity has included:

Major programs

The Australian Government has supported salinity management through programs such as the National Dryland Salinity Program (1993-2004) and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (2001-2008). Currently, salinity management is supported in the context of broader  natural resource management issues through the Caring for our Country initiative. Funds have been available through the sustainable Farm Practices national priority area to encourage landholders to maintain cover on salt affected land.

National Dryland Salinity Program (1993-2004)

The National Dryland Salinity Program (NDSP) provided a major communication network for distributing salinity information and management support tools in Australia.Land and Water Australia maintains a list of NDSP’s web-based products. They include:

National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (NAP) (2001-2008)

As part of the NAP, new mapping methods for salinity were developed using Airborne Electromagnetics (AEM). More information on the technology and the results of the salinity mapping program can be found here.

Salinity reviews

There have been several reviews, including two by parliamentary committees, in the past decade into progress on addressing salinity in Australia and the techniques for managing it. Details of these reviews can be found here.

Research and development

The Australian Government supports research and development of production systems for saline land through the Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).