Balancing trade-off issues in land use change and the impact on streamflow and salinity management

Xiang Cheng, Kurt Benke, Craig Beverly, Brendan Christy, Anna Weeks, Kirsten Barlow, Mark Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The south-west region of the Goulburn-Broken catchment in the south-eastern Murray-Darling Basin in Australia faces a range of natural resource challenges. A balanced strategy is required to achieve the contrasting objectives of remediation of land salinization and reducing salt export, while maintaining water supply security to satisfy human consumption and support ecosystems. This study linked the Catchment Analysis Tool (CAT), comprising a suite of farming system models, to the catchment-scale CATNode hydrological model to investigate the effects of land use change and climate variation on catchment streamflow and salt export. The modelling explored and contrasted the impacts of a series of different revegetation and climate scenarios. The results indicated that targeted revegetation to only satisfy biodiversity outcomes within a catchment is unlikely to have much greater impact on streamflow and salt load in comparison with simple random plantings. Additionally, the results also indicated that revegetation to achieve salt export reduction can effectively reduce salt export while having a disproportionately smaller affect on streamflows. Furthermore, streamflow declines can be minimized by targeting revegetation activities without significantly altering salt export. The study also found that climate change scenarios will have an equal if not more significant impact on these issues over the next 70years. Uncertainty in CATNode streamflow predictions was investigated because of the effect of parameter uncertainty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1641-1662
Number of pages22
JournalHydrological Processes
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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