Futureproofing the Lockyer Valley with 20'000 trees
Author: Josh Cole
The joint venture is a response to lessons learned from the 2011 Queensland floods, which affected 75% of the state’s council regions, causing 38 deaths and an estimated $2.39 billion in damage.
The project’s partners are the Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd, Queensland Urban Utilities and Healthy Land and Water.
The 20,000 trees will be planted in newly graded land, making it more likely to hold together during flooding, reducing debris and runoff, which can cause dangerous temporary dams and pollute water downstream.
According to Urban Utilities the project will also prevent 16,000 tonnes of sediment, 11 tonnes of nitrogen and 22 tonnes of phosphorous from entering the catchment every year due to natural erosion.
"This is incredibly important, everything that washes away from here ends up in the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay," said the Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, Mr. Steven Miles, in an interview with the ABC.
The Lockyer Valley has also played host to a number of National Tree Day Events: the National Tree Day Lockyer group planted trees in 95% of schools in the valley in 2016.
Similar work has been done along creeks and rivers in North Queensland that feed out to the Great Barrier Reef, ensuring less run-off, which could harm unique aquatic animals and the coral reefs they use for shelter.
Research into trees and their effects on flooding in Wales in the UK found that additional trees in rural areas could reduce water running over ground by ‘a factor of 70 over 7 years.’
Elsewhere in the UK, there is also discussion around SUDS – Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, which incorporate trees to help divert the flow of water into channels and soakaway pits.
While, fortunately for the United Kingdom, there haven’t been any real tests of their capability, urban designers hope that SUDS can reduce the impact of heavy rain on urban areas.
Trees alone can’t stop floods but in conjunction with proper landcare they can reduce the severity of landslides, soil loss and flooding itself downstream as root systems absorb some of the excess water.
- Register or attend a National Tree Day event
- Get involved with your local Landcare/Bushcare group
- Learn how to prepare your home for floods
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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.
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