Publication Date

2-2016

Series Number

402

Abstract

Land capability review for the Swan Valley.

The land capability review of the Swan Valley examined and updated previous soil and capability studies done in the area, which are still considered highly relevant for the planning requirements of the Swan Valley. As a result we have updated information on the potential for irrigated agriculture in the Swan Valley which will guide decision-making in the future.

This review uses a modified version of a new approach to presenting information for land use planning, developed by DAFWA in the Mid West region.

The main findings of the review include:

  • The alluvial terraces adjacent to the Swan River and the plain to the west of the railway and south of Haddrill Road contain extensive areas of good soils that are underlain by the largest volumes of groundwater.
  • Because of changes in land and crop management techniques and a drying rainfall pattern, areas formerly classified as unsuited for agriculture are now showing improved capability.
  • Water availability is the major limiting factor for intensive agriculture in the Swan Valley. Water is currently fully allocated and there is no additional water available for licensing. Declining rainfall compounds this issue. There may need to be a review of allocation limits in the future.
  • Any new water requirements will need to be sourced from the trade or transfer of existing water licences either from within the Swan Valley area or from external areas where permitted by groundwater subarea boundaries. Producers need to follow best practice to ensure irrigation efficiency is optimum for the water available to them.

This information is only a starting point for assessing particular areas of land. Because of the scale of this analysis, ground-level assessments will be needed to ensure that peculiarities of any parcel or property are considered.

Number of Pages

66

Keywords

Swan Valley, land capability, rural land use planning, viticulture, soil survey, lot sizes, groundwater, drying climate, peri-urban agriculture, food security

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