Impacts of deep open drains on water quality and biodiversity of receiving waterways in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia

Barbara Stewart, K.H. Strehlow, J. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Extensive networks of deep drains are being built in Western Australia to reduce the effects of dryland salinity on agricultural lands. Most of these drains discharge into natural river and wetland systems, with little consideration given to the environmental impacts. This study examined the downstream ecological impacts of one of the oldest deep drain networks in Western Australia, located in the Wakeman subcatchment near Narembeen. Twelve sites were sampled bi-monthly from October 2004 to September 2006. On each occasion, water quality parameters were measured and the macro-invertebrate fauna was sampled. Significant differences in water quality and macro-invertebrates were observed between the untreated sites and those affected by the drain discharge. Surface water at untreated sites was always fresh (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-118
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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