The lower Blackwood River Basin is located on the southern coast of the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River and Nannup, extending inland and upstream of the Blackwood River, into the Shire of Nannup. The townsites of Augusta and Nannup are located within the lower Blackwood Basin, with the cross over with the middle Blackwood Basin being to the east of the Nannup townsite. Of the entire Blackwood Basin area, the lower Blackwood Basin has the most vegetation within conservation estate, and the least fragmented landscape. Along with the smaller amount of clearing and higher rainfall zone that it occurs in (1400 mm annual rainfall at the coast compared to 350 mm at the eastern edge of the upper Black wood basin), the lower Blackwood Basin has a high number of conservation assets including the threatened White-bellied and Orange-bellied frogs, and a number of good condition streams and tributaries running into the Blackwood River.
The Blackwood Basin, as a whole, has a population of just over 37,000 people (2004). With much of the lower Blackwood Basin being within conservation estate, only approximately 30% of the area is cleared and used for a mix of urban and rural land-uses. The only settlements in the area is Augusta on the coast and Nannup inland and upstream along the Blackwood River. Read more.
The Blackwood River extends from the coast and the Blackwood Estuary and Hardy Inlet at Augusta to its upper reaches in the Wheatbelt. In the lower Blackwood Basin, a number of tributaries lead into the Blackwood River including Rushy Creek, Chapman Brook and McLeod Creek. Approximately 70% of the lower Blackwood basin is within conservation estate. The lower Basin also has the lower Scott River running through its southern boundary along the coast. The Scott River and Blackwood River both feed into Hardy Inlet. The lower Blackwood Basin contains some highly prized natural assets, in particularly its highly valued waterways and iconic biodiversity. Read more.
The Blackwood Basin’s economy as a whole is based mainly on agricultural production, with around 80% of the region devoted to it. The region has significant timber and mineral resources also. However, the lower and middle Blackwood Basin are more known for their high tourism values, with approximately 380,000 tourists visiting each year. Only 30% of the lower Blackwood Basin has been cleared for agricultural production. Read more.
Climate change and the catchment
Workshops were conducted across the SW NRM Region between March to June 2014 and explored how community members and NRM professionals define their catchment; what changes they have noticed; and how they believe a changing climate will affect their lifestyles, livelihoods and the landscapes they live in. The full report can be found here. Through the discussions of the workshops, changes to the systems beyond climate change were raised and included in the visual representations found here. It was important to capture the discussion of the whole system and its values.
Who’s on the ground?
To find out about current and past projects and partners Read more.
Header image by Wendy Wilkins.