Salt has always been present in our landscape. It has been accumulating in the ground over hundreds of thousands of years. Natural salt lakes are important features of Western Australia's landscape and the special plants and animals that live on them contribute to our amazing biodiversity.
The clearing of native vegetation to make way for agricultural crops has meant that more water has soaked into the ground. As a result, the rising groundwater table is bringing the stored salt to the surface, where it runs into our streams and spreads across the landscape. Increasing surface salinity affects plants, aquatic life and drinking water. Even our rural towns are suffering, with roads and buildings crumbling because of the spreading salt.
Salinity threatens the natural biodiversity of our south-west agricultural region and is challenging the way we use agricultural land.
Salinity programs undertaken by the Department of Parks and Wildlife range from researching and developing new industries—such as oil mallees—that integrate environmental and economic benefits, to implementing plant and animal recovery programs.