Lakes throughout south-western WA offer vital amenity to their local communities being places of scenic beauty, recreation, meeting places, plus supporting significant wildlife and plant habitats. They also support local tourism, which in turn creates economic benefits for nearby communities.
This $3.7 million project represents the final stage of the Royalties for Regions Living Lakes program. Stage 1 of the program (completed 2012) investigated 25 lakes for potential engineering improvements and completed feasibility studies for Lakes Ewlyamartup, Yealering and Towerrinning. Stage 2 (completed 2016), involving significant input from the communities, developed engineering designs for Lakes Ewlyamartup and Yealering, together with land use concept plans to guide future development.
Stage 3 of the program will implement the engineering designs produced during Stage 2, and in close collaboration with the local communities, it will develop and deliver activation plans and a calendar of events for each lake – aimed at improving amenity and promoting increased visitation.
Lake enhancements will contribute to improved lifestyle for the local communities and help to boost local economies. Both lakes are ideally located for a range of recreational, educational and environmental activities, including bird watching, walking, school visits, swimming, boating and water-skiing. The improved lakes could also become locations for specific events, such as arts, music and sports.
For both the communities of Yealering and Katanning these lakes are highly significant assets that people feel strong connections to. The drive to undertake this work has been from the communities themselves who have campaigned for decades to protect these areas that, for many, have created intergenerational memories. For Traditional Owners these lakes also hold special significance as they were once vital sources of fresh water sustaining families.
- To implement engineering solutions to improve water quality and periods of inundation, including the following measures at each lake:
- Constructing an eastern bund to the outlet swamp and upgrading the existing southern bund to increase the flow of water into the lake;
- Improving and installing control and overflow structures at strategic locations along the eastern bund and at the northern end of the existing southern bund to improve diversion performance; and
- Installing a control structure at the upper reach of the Avon River to allow flow to be directed preferentially towards the lake; or downstream to the Avon River.
- Constructing a flushing channel to facilitate draining of the lake for removal of poorer quality water; and
- Installing control structures along the new bypass channel to manage the passage of flow.
- To develop a Maintenance and Management Plan for each lake in collaboration with the local government and community ensuring the ongoing management of the engineering infrastructure.
- To engage with the local communities to design and implement an Activation Plan and Calendar of Events that promotes the lakes, enhances amenity and increases visitation.