Commissioned by the South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) and prepared for Natural Resources South East involved the development of an assessment framework to enable an innovative assessment of agricultural productivity linked to drainage in the South East NRM Region for a range of different drainage scenarios, including:
- maximum removal of water from the landscape
- managed retention
- no drain scenario (maximum retention of water in the landscape)
Numerous studies have previously assessed productivity associated with drainage based on a site case-study approach, however the current work was the first to develop a spatially explicit database for the region to enable assessment of land productivity relative to distance to drains and the impact of a series of land suitability parameters including depth to hard pan, peat soils, soil type and salinity. The innovative methodology developed for the project also including an assessment of the potential impact of seasonal conditions and differing climate change scenarios on both pasture and crop productivity for the region.