Considerations for choosing which dams to enhance
- Enhance a large dam that provides significant water for stock, garden and other purposes, so that the benefits of cleaner water can have the greatest impact.
- A dam with an existing reticulation system for stock is a prime candidate for enhancement.
- Choose a dam that is best located to service the greatest farm area or number of paddocks.
Can enhancement help solve a problem?
- Renovating or de-silting a dam is an excellent opportunity for enhancement, and will help retain the value of the dam asset for longer.
- Dam enhancement can help to stabilize and manage erosion, so a dam that is a key part of the farm’s water system but has eroded banks or inflow could benefit from enhancement.
Reliability & aesthetics
- While an enhanced dam may retain water for longer, dams that dry out easily are not good candidates – ideally, choose a dam that fairly reliably retains water.
- A deep dam with smaller relative surface area is ideal, although depth variation is also important for establishing aquatic vegetation.
- An enhanced dam can be a green hotspot in dry times, and will attract a range of wildlife including birds.
Location in relation to other natural assets on a farm
- Enhancing a dam that is located close to existing natural assets such as paddock trees, shelterbelts and remnant vegetation can improve habitat for native wildlife, creating a larger and more diverse area of natural habitat. For example, including a paddock tree into the fenced area around a dam will help protect the tree, as well as adding habitat value to the new plantings around the dam.
- Research by Sustainable Farms indicates that plantings beside dams support higher rates of bird breeding activity than ‘dry’ plantings elsewhere in the landscape.
Last update: February 28, 2023
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