Barren sections of the Harvey River Main Drain will be revitalised as part of a unique trial to create natural habits for wildlife in and around rural drains.

The trial is the first of its kind on a Water Corporation drain in regional WA and follows the transformation of several stormwater drains in Perth under the utility’s Drainage for Liveability Program.

Work includes revegetating drainage banks and strategically placing wooden logs within the drain to imitate a natural stream. Murdoch University scientist Steven Beatty is part of the team delivering the project. He said once established, the new habitat would provide a home for native animals such as marron, Quenda, freshwater turtles, birds and water bugs.

“By installing logs to mimic natural waterways we can create a habitat suitable for many different species, but particularly for freshwater marron which like to live around submerged wood,” Mr Beatty said.

“Together with our citizen scientists who will help monitor the program, we hope to see signs of much more fauna in the area over the next year or two.”

Water Corporation South West Regional Manager Nicky Waite said the project was part of a move to transform drains in natural habitats.

“Our understanding of the environmental has changed significantly since the early 1900s when the primary function of drains was flood mitigation,” Ms Waite said. 

“With the help of science, we are now looking towards more sustainable ways of managing infrastructure so that drains can be better integrated into the natural environment.”

“This project and others like it across WA, reflect Water Corporation’s focus on environmental stewardship, and we’re really looking forward to some positive outcomes.”

The revitalisation of the Harvey River Main Drain is a collaborative project between Water Corporation, the Harvey River Restoration Taskforce, Greening Australia and the Alcoa Foundation.

Water Corporation is providing up to $135,000 over three years, with further funding from the State Natural Resource Management Program and Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through the Royalties for Regions Regional Community Services Fund. In kind support is also being provided by Main Roads WA and Picton Civil.

“This project is a wonderful example of how government agencies and the community can work together to protect, enhance and connect waterways and wetland habitats in the South West,” Ms Waite said.

Media contact:

Kylie Olney
Senior Advisor – Customer & Stakeholder
Phone: 0428 938 847
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