Incentives ranging from $5000 to $30,000 are available to help eligible landholders in the Paxton area enhance water quality.
Hunter Water is investing $200,000 in partnership with Hunter Local Land Services in a catchment improvement program to improve water quality in Congewai and Quorrobolong Creeks over the next two years.
The funding comes on top of two years work already completed in the area. The program aims to improve water quality by reducing sediment and nutrient runoff in the catchments to benefit downstream water users and improve biodiversity in the area.
The funding assists local landholders to undertake works such as enhancing native revegetation, weed control, fencing to better manage stock grazing, creating off stream stock watering facilities, and undertaking soil erosion control works to help reduce the amount of nitrogen, phosphorous and other nutrients entering the creeks.
“Hunter Water has completed numerous local environmental studies that found the Congewai and Quorrobolong Creeks have elevated levels of nutrients both upstream and downstream of the Paxton Waste Water Treatment Works,” Hunter Local Land Services projects officer Kirby Byrne said.
“Many factors can contribute to these increased nutrient levels including vegetation clearing, agriculture, erosion, urban storm water as well as the treatment works.
“To date, this program has planted 12,050 trees, installed 6.7 kilometres of new riparian fencing, protected 26.3 hectares of riparian vegetation and soils and created 23 stock watering points, all of which are helping improve local water quality.”
Hunter Local Land Services will support landholders in the catchment area by providing technical and property management advice and ongoing involvement with approved projects.
“We can assist landholders to make on-ground improvements to their property, that will lead to much bigger outcomes for the local environment by improving the health of the catchments and benefiting other users of these waterways downstream,” Ms Byrne said.
Hunter Water chief investment officer Darren Cleary said the incentives program would benefit both the community and environment.
“We’re really pleased to be able to invest this funding to improve water quality in the catchment. We can’t do this alone, which is why we’re working in partnership with Paxton landholders and Hunter Local Land Services to enhance our waterways together,” he said.
Applications close July 23. Landholders in the catchment area who are interested in joining the program can email Kirby.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 6551 8994.