Special Collections at Murdoch University

Special Collections at Murdoch University

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Salt: the grim warning

Hammond, J. (1987) Salt: the grim warning. Albany Advertiser, 16 April 1987. [Publication] [Special Collections]


The growing problem of salt-affected land which threatens not only the viability of farms in the wheatbelt but also those in the Great Southern region. Commissioner of Soil Conservation, Dr Graeme Robertson has warned that salinity on the south coast will increase dramatically within the next ten to fifteen years. The Agriculture Department has been monitoring ground water levels east of Albany and has found that the water table is rising by an average of 0.3 metres every year. Dr Robertson said that the salinity level of the water table in the area of the study was up to five times that of sea water. One attempt at solving the problem is being put into practice by Narrikup farmers, Andrew and Steven Frost. Using seismic technology, the Frosts have gained a picture of the water table and have mapped areas of their property likely to be affected by salt in the future. The knowledge of the particular aquifers gives a picture of the areas of land not to clear of native vegetation. Another method of controlling salinity is advocated by WISALTS, who evolved from a theory devised by Brookton farmer Harry Whittington, with the construction of the interceptor banks built of impermeable material which acts to intercept the movement of water at both surface and subsurface levels.

This article contains four images by John McKinnon: salt affected land at Narrikup; WISALTS surveyor Jim McGregor with a divining rod; Jim McGregor pointing to some of the WISALTS bank above a salt scald; Andrew and Steven Frost looking at seismic surveys on their car bonnet.

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This article is part of the WISALTS (Whittington Interceptor Sustainable Agriculture Land Treatment Society Incorporated) Collection.

Item Type: Special Collections
Collection: WISALTS Collection
Copyright: ©1987 Albany Advertiser
Notes: 1 newspaper clipping
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/60124
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