Salt scalding in the Lockyer Valley, South-East Queensland
Salinity is the presence of salts such as sodium chloride, magnesium and calcium sulfates, and bicarbonates, in soil and water.
Salinity throughout Australia is a major natural resource issue, including Queensland. In 2000, the area of saline land in Queensland was assessed as 48 000 hectares (ha), which had increased to 107 000 ha by 2002 (ABS 2002).
Salinity is a challenging natural resource issue as it is affected by different spatial and temporal scales. Salinity expressions and effects of salinity may appear long after and some distance from where the causes originated.
Its harmful effects include lost agricultural production, stream salinity and damage to infrastructure, urban households and environmental costs. Saline soils occur naturally in parts of Queensland. However, salinity can be induced by unsuitable land management practices.
To help understand salinity, its effects and how it can be prevented visit the following pages:
Between 2001 and 2007, Queensland was actively involved with the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (NAPSWQ), investing $162 million across several priority catchments. The NAPSWQ has invested $11.5 million in the strategic understanding of science issues related to salinity to improve the ability to predict salinity outcomes.
Priority areas for future salinity investment/activities by the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) can be categorised into five key themes.
- policies and planning
- assessment, monitoring, evaluation and reporting
- community participation
- communication and training
- research and development.
DERM works with a number of organisations involved in salinity investigation and management across Australia. DERM is also a signatory to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s Salinity Management Strategy.
Contact DERM for further information about salinity.
External related links
- Murray-Darling Basin Authority
- State of the Environment Queensland 2007—Salinity (PDF, file unavailable)*
* Requires Adobe Reader
Last reviewed 10 April 2012
Last updated 1 March 2011