Land management impacts on water quality following fire in a major water supply catchment

A Wade, I White, M Worthy, A Gill, N Mueller, Phil Taylor, Robert Wasson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Salvage harvesting and land clearance to re-establish radiata plantations in the lower catchment followed the January 2003 bushfires in the Cotter River water supply catchment. We report impacts of post-fire catchment disturbance on water quality and preliminary results of a recently completed works program to improve water quality. Suspended sediment concentrations as high as 39,000 mg/L and massive annual specific sediment yields between 520 and 950 t/km2/a from the 42 km2 salvaged pine area occurred over three low-intensity rainfall years following the fire. In contrast, reservoir turbidity profiles in naturally-regenerated, upper-catchments returned to pre-fire conditions within 12 to 18 months.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)121-139
    Number of pages19
    JournalAustralian Journal of Water Resources
    Volume16
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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