Slow the Flow

Reducing erosion in Kyeamba Creek

Making a Difference -

LLCI010-006

Slow the Flow

Reducing erosion in Kyeamba Creek

The issue

Gully and streambank erosion is a serious issue in the Kyeamba Creek catchment. Our land has been altered for agriculture and with an increase in heavy rainfalls in the last few years, unnatural erosion of the banks and gullies of the upper catchment have intensified with significantly more sediment being transported downstream. This impacts on the water quality, nutrient load and turbidity of connecting streams, creeks and rivers and destabilises riverine habitats for fish, frogs and macroinvertebrates. Inaction will result in these gullies continuing to erode, resulting in soil losses far exceeding soil formation, loss of nutrients in the landscape and an increase of sedimentation and nutrients into our rivers.

The solution

The Kyeamba Valley Landcare Group (KVLG) have been working with Cam Wilson, qualified consultant from Earth Integral, to implement low-cost erosion solutions across the catchment. Cam Wilson conducted three practical field days to demonstrate different techniques on how to apply low-cost erosion control solutions. Cam taught 53 landholders that expensive earthworks are not necessary to prevent or remedy erosion problems but rather the clever use of local materials can be just as effective. Landholders left with a better understanding of erosion processes, how to build a structure and where and how they should be placed for maximum success. So far, 8 low cost erosion control and sediment control works have been implemented. The KVLG plans to roll out many more works throughout 2016-2017.

The impact

Low-cost erosion control works have helped to slow down active erosion, kick start natural repair processes in gullies and begin the rehydration of the landscape surrounding the Kyeamba Creek. More importantly though, field days have equipped landholders with the required skills to control erosion as a community before it becomes irreparable and/or expensive.

Learnings

Erosion gets worse over time. The earlier the intervention, the cheaper and more effective the remedy will be. This project was not about applying a few large scale earthworks to stop erosion, which are often beyond the scope of many landholders. It was about applying lots of small scale and low-cost works across the catchment that will provide a combined approach to erosion control. Get to it early and erosion doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

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Key facts

  • 53 participants attended 3 field days
  • Landholders empowered to apply low cost solutions on their own property
  • Erosion control can be low cost and effective.

Project Partners