Approximately 60% of Adelaide’s water supply comes from catchments in the Mount Lofty Ranges. The Sixth Creek catchment is the largest sub-catchment of the River Torrens containing the majority of watercourses that flow into the river, therefore it is important that we preserve any remaining healthy watercourses and rehabilitate degraded riparian areas.
When we talk about water in the catchment, we often refer to the riparian zone, which simply means land alongside a watercourse, wetland, dam etc… (including aquatic/semi-aquatic plants & terrestrial vegetation). The riparian zone is important as it supports a range of different animal and plant species compared with terrestrial land. It also acts as a refuge for native animals in extreme conditions (e.g. drought, fire).
A healthy riparian zone plays a key role in protecting the watercourse through:
- minimising the effects of flooding and subsequent erosion
- improving water quality
- providing habitat for wildlife, and
- possibly increasing the value of your property
Water affecting activities
Some activities along watercourses or relating to dams or ground water springs can have adverse impacts on the health and condition of the Sixth Creek riparian ecosystems.
These are activities such as water diversion and storage, building a structure in a water course, depositing solid material into a watercourse, planting vegetation to block the watercourse.
The Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board specifically manages surface water resources, and their Hills and Fleurieu Water Affecting Activities Control Policy sets out the principles for managing water affecting activities.
Conservation of water courses
Sixth Creek Catchment Group is taking action to conserve the water course and landholders along the Sixth Creek are encouraged to take similar actions.
- preserve existing native riparian vegetation and buffer vulnerable areas with strategic native revegetation
- remove pest animal and plant species gradually to encourage natural regeneration
- stabilise and revegetate degraded riparian areas, and
- control and manage stock access to riparian zones with fencing and crash grazing
- be aware of run off and possible polluting sources
- ensure water affecting activities are permitted and meet Policy requirements