Creek Line Salinity – Identification & Management

A handy guide to assist in identifying and treating Regional Creek Line Salinity

What is Regional Creek Line Salinity?

Seeps and Scalds that are associated with Creek Line salinity are generally found within the tributary systems entering the Murray River and water courses throughout Eyre Peninsula. They are generally easily identifiable by looking at or knowing the landscape but can also become clear when looking at the Google Earth images of the area.
The water tables within these particular creek lines are generally highly saline and therefore extremely detrimental as they start to impact normal farm paddock production. They can expand quickly after periods of high rainfall across the upper catchment areas, causing increase salinisation of topsoils across lower lying connected paddocks zones.

Management Strategies

As the water source of the problem is usually well beyond the control of the local farmer there is little that can be done individually to substantially lower the shallow saline water table along the creek line. 

However, anything that is done by local councils or farmers to help more the water on (towards the sea) as quickly and efficiently as possible in narrow channels or pipelines means that less damage will be inflicted on the landscapes along the way.

The main strategies of farmers should be to:

Establish vegetation

Establish salt tolerant perennial vegetation (trees and/or saltbush) in strips along either side of the creek lines in areas where it could potentially spread out into paddocks. This will help dry out soils and limit the detrimental effects of high water flow periods.

Grade Defined Channels

Where appropriate, grade defined channels through paddocks to quickly move water off farm through the water course can also be an important strategy, provided it complies with any local regulations.

Establish Salt Tolerant Pastures

Establishing salt tolerant pastures (puccinellia, tall wheat grass) through bare scalded areas where possible will also be beneficial in preventing or limiting the spread further land degradation.