Most agricultural contaminants in waterways (such as sediment, phosphorus, and E. coli) are mobilised and enter the stream during rainfall events that result in overland flow (surficial runoff).
Understanding at a paddock scale how the water will move across the landscape during a rainfall event can help with strategic farm management decisions, as well as the placement of various mitigations or interventions. For example, by knowing where water will drain through a winter forage crop paddock, the grazing strategy can be managed accordingly leaving these high risk water convergence areas until last or avoided altogether (e.g. a planted buffer).
This assessment will also 'place' the property in the landscape, giving context to which streams, rivers, and receiving environments (estuaries and lakes) are upstream and/or downstream of the property. With either good or poor management practices influencing the water quality outcomes of these downstream receiving environments.
Paddock scale topography and water flow paths; when this information is combined with the physiographic science, it provides a powerful tool demonstrating potential contaminant risk and transport across a landscape.
Paddock scale flow direction arrows, water flow pathways, and drainage areas surrounding an underpass. Overland flow or surficial runoff is then channelled through a network of culverts and open ditch drains and off the property.
For more information on this project, and others like it, contact Matt (firstname.lastname@example.org)