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Using climate mitigation investment for broad-scale water quality improvement

Harper, R.J.ORCID: 0000-0003-0268-2917, Sochacki, S.J. and Mitchell, C.D. (2012) Using climate mitigation investment for broad-scale water quality improvement. In: 2nd Practical Responses to Climate Change Conference, 1 - 3 May, Canberra, Australia pp. 472-478.


Multiple issues confront catchment managers including maintenance of water yield and water quality, preservation of soils and protection of remnant biodiversity. In many cases technical solutions exist but there is a lack of capital to implement solutions at the scale required to resolve the issues. Changes to land use such as reforestation and application of soil amendments can potentially provide a range of ecosystem services, such as carbon mitigation and biodiversity protection and also change water yield and water quality. The Australian Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 (CFI) recently passed into law and while this is aimed at carbon mitigation it also provides a range of opportunities for widespread improvements in catchment management and water quality. This paper describes the potential benefits that could flow from the CFI using four case studies from south-western WA. They are (1) reforestation of catchments to achieve carbon sequestration and improve water quality, (2) soil amendments that are likely to sequester carbon and reduce nutrient leaching from sandy soils, (3) restoration of wetland vegetation to achieve carbon sequestration, and (4) biomass production from previously salinized land. For each the potential for carbon mitigation will be examined, the likely water co-benefits outlined and knowledge and policy barriers to implementation described.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Engineers Australia
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