Water Productivity Journal (WPJ) Quarterly Publication

Document Type : Case Study


1 Professor, Honorary Research Fellow, The Institute of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia, Crawley. 6001 Western Australia

2 Soil Conservation Specialist. Fremantle. Western Australia

3 Deputy General Manager, Risk Management Team, Korean Reinsurance Company, Seoul, South Korea



In this paper, the evolution of runoff enhancement treatments on both natural and artificial (or roaded) catchments used for rainfall harvesting to supply small on-farm dams in south-western Australia is reviewed. Over the last seven decades, various experimental treatments and approaches to enhance water shedding or harvesting techniques have been tested and adapted across this region to account for variations in slope, soil type and rainfall distribution. These adaptations are vital to maintain water harvesting efficiency and water security in a drying climate and enable farmers to continue to produce crops and support livestock effectively while increasing their climate resilience. As such, water security is one of the most important components of any agricultural enterprise. The treatments or sealants evaluated, varied in their capacity, cost, durability or water shedding capability, to provide a robust response to changes experienced in rainfall patterns, their intensity and frequency due to climate change. This review has highlighted the potential to use various surface treatments to increase the water harvesting efficiency from different landscapes in semi-arid or dryland agricultural areas in southwestern Australia.


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