10 December 2015…Water management students from as far afield as Nepal, India, Mexico, Chile, Peru, India, the U.S.A. and around Australia have undertaken a comprehensive study tour of the Peel-Harvey region assisted by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC).

The students are completing their masters in Integrated Water Management via the International Water Centre in Brisbane, and will take the learnings from their field trips back home as they work up their theses.

Professor Mark Rivers of the Institute of Agriculture UWA co-ordinated the field trip with the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s senior project officer Kim Wilson.

“The field trip was about showcasing the Peel-Harvey catchment and in particular the work the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council have done towards community engagement and social capital in addressing the issues affecting the catchment,” said Mark Rivers.

At the PHCC, students viewed the Lake Mealup case study which demonstrates how effective community engagement and partnerships resulted in the successful recovery of Lake Mealup, which is a part of the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar system. The Lake Mealup Recovery Program, a multi-organisational partnership, was a runner-up in this year’s International River Foundation’s $200,000 Australian Riverprize.

Jose Astete, a masters student and agricultural engineer from Lima, Peru, said it was fascinating to learn how the local issues on integrated water management had been addressed.

“It has been very interesting to learn of the natural resource management techniques that Peel-Harvey Catchment Council and their project partners have used to restore the wetlands like diverting water into the lake, controlling the typha weed, improving the PH balance and restoring the riparian links,” said Jose Astete.

The International Water Centre is a collaboration between University of Queensland University of WA, Monash and Griffith, and the integrated water management module focuses on connecting water and agricultural landscapes.

During the study tour of the Peel Harvey, the students were also addressed by representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Harvey Water and the WA College of Agriculture, Harvey.

ENDS

Media Contact: Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au , (08) 6369 8800

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