Restoring our rivers

We provide guidance and technical expertise about river restoration and management.
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Most waterways in Western Australia have been modified to some degree, and some have been extensively altered so that they retain few of their natural features or values. Restoration may be necessary to maintain or improve their environmental, social and economic services.

Waterway restoration aims to protect and restore the physical form and ecological processes of a waterway in a way that supports it to progress toward its natural state.

We support government agencies, industry, natural resource management groups, communities and individuals that are planning, implementing and evaluating waterway management activities. Read more below.

Advice and guidance on river restoration

We provide guidance and technical expertise about river restoration and management.

This includes addressing hydrological issues, restoring channel alignment and form, erosion and sedimentation, stabilising banks, pool and riffle construction, designing fishways, identifying and protecting foreshore areas and the design of living streams.

Some of this is provided through our water and land use planning advice but much of this work undertaken through our Healthy Estuaries WA and Healthy Rivers programs. Read about how we are building community capacity to restore waterways.

Through Healthy Estuaries WA, we support farmers to improve the health of our rivers and estuaries by installing stock exclusion fencing and revegetation on priority waterways. Restoring riparian vegetation and stream function will reduce soil erosion, enhance the uptake and removal of nutrients and improve water quality, ecological and amenity values.

Water monitoring data

We assist with collating and analysing water monitoring data provided by project partners for the purpose of designing and evaluating waterway restoration projects.

This includes data on water quality, ecological water requirements and trends in the hydrological regime, including water levels.

Waterway health assessments

We undertake estuary and river health assessments and assist with guidance on methods for assessing waterway current condition and evaluating improvements.

Waterway restoration resources

Links and resources to help with assessing, planning, monitoring and restoring waterways

Resource Description
River Restoration Manual A series of publications that outline the basic principles of how waterways in south-west Western Australia function and provides guidelines for the planning, restoration and long-term management of waterways in Western Australia.
Water notes A series that provides an introduction and general guide to waterway and wetland ecology, restoration and management.
Framework for prioritising waterways for management in Western Australia A planning tool for natural resource and land managers that provides a consistent and transparent approach to setting priorities for waterways management that can help identify where to focus restoration efforts.
Why should we fence and revegetate our waterways? This fact sheet outlines how fencing livestock out of waterways provides benefits in terms of healthy waterways and sustainable and productive farms.
Managing waterways in the Avon wheatbelt Assists all landowners and land managers (including local and state government) to protect and improve waterways and riparian land in the Avon Wheatbelt region and manage the issues that affect them, including salinity, sediments, weeds and fire.
Rivercare projects - successes, impediments, learnings: 1997-19981999, and 2000 Three reports that evaluate previous Western Australian waterways restoration projects.
Waterways management plan document collection A collection of published waterway condition assessments, waterway management plans and river action plans, river recovery plans developed by regional natural resource management groups with the assistance of the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
Photopoint monitoring – A guide to establishing sites and taking consistent photos A guide to using photopoints, a visual method for assessing changes in condition including evaluating environmental responses to on‑ground management actions.

See also:

CRC for Water Sensitive Cities RESTORE Tool - a decision making tool to support the repair of urban waterways. An easy-to-use desktop solution helps waterway managers to identify which actions to prioritise. Supporting fact sheets identify potential recovery actions.

A guide to managing and restoring wetlands in Western Australia (PDF, 5.3 MB) may be a useful source of advice for the management and restoration of wetlands associated with waterways.