Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Conference Title

Western Australian State Natural Resource Management Conference. Bridgetown


Water quality, nutrient loss, urban, rural, south west Western Australia


Agriculture | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Monitoring | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Water Resource Management


In Western Australia, a number of coastal rivers and estuaries have suffered from eutrophication since the 1960’s. Often the focus of the threat to water quality in these areas has been agriculture because of its extensive nature and widespread use of highly soluble fertilisers. Over recent years a focus on nutrient inputs, outputs and nutrient balance in a number of projects provides an opportunity to compare the relative nutrient threats from the agricultural and urban sectors, placed in the context of increasing urbanisation and development. These disparate data sets also allow a comparison of nutrient inputs in each sector in the form of fertiliser and non-fertiliser sources, and show how these translate into whole of catchment nutrient inputs, transformations and exports to waterways. These sets of data also provide some insight into the adoption of management practices in each sector, and the relative threats to water quality from each sector on the basis of its location in a catchment.