6.0 Flowing Creek Catchment: Challenges/Issues
Surface chemistry water quality on Flowing Creek declines from “Fair” to “Poor” between the upstream ((CK67-008) and downstream sites (CK67-001). The lower site has shown persistently elevated nutrient concentrations and E. coli counts as well as high metal concentrations over a 12 year period.
Instream biological water quality conditions for Flowing Creek are unknown.
Drainage problems have led to establishment of altered wetland conditions and land use conflict (amongst development, quarry, agriculture and wetland conservation interests).
Existing hydrological and geochemical datasets and assessments (academic, RVCA, others) are only recently available and/or are not being considered in the characterization of the numerous hydrologic functions of the Jock River subwatershed. Further, there is a dearth of hydrologic information (hydroperiod, groundwater/surface water interactions, geochemistry) about the wetlands that remain in the Jock River subwatershed.
Natural hazard lands have not been identified.
‘Natural’ vegetation covers 39 percent of the riparian zone of Flowing Creek and its tributaries (Figure 34) and is below the recommended 30 metre wide, naturally vegetated target along 75 percent of the length of the catchment’s watercourses.
No information available about instream aquatic and riparian conditions along Flowing Creek.
Woodlands cover 25 percent of the catchment and is belwo the 30 percent of forest cover that is identified as the minimum threshold for sustaining forest birds and other woodland dependent species (Figure 32).
Pre-settlement wetlands have declined by 79 percent and now cover nine percent (483 ha.) of the catchment (Figure 33). Thirty-four percent (167 ha.) of these wetlands remain unevaluated/unregulated and are vulnerable to drainage and land clearing activities in the absence of any regulatory and planning controls that would otherwise protect them for the many important hydrological, social, biological and ecological functions/services/values they provide to landowners and the surrounding community.