Cummins Wanilla Basin management plan work to start

Work will soon begin on developing a drainage management plan for the Cummins Wanilla Basin in an effort to safeguard local agricultural land from salinity and water-logging.

The Cummins Wanilla Basin Streamcare Group has announced it has raised $320,000 to develop the new plan and fund priority infrastructure works.

The plan was funded through the Eyre Peninsula Natural Resource Management Board contributions from the Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council and the Lower Eyre Agricultural Development Association, with the $250,000 infrastructure funding provided separately through the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA.

Streamcare group chairman Trevor Carter said this was exciting news and consultants had also been appointed.

"I am really excited to announce that Water Technology Pty Ltd has been appointed to develop the plan, which we are hoping to have finalised by the end of May 2020," he said.

Mr Carter said consultants would start engaging with landowners later this year.

With an online mapping system landowners will also be able to identify existing drainage assets, comment on asset quality and effectiveness, provide observations from dry and wet weather conditions and upload photos of assets.

Mr Carter said the plan would provide direction on what improvements were needed.

"Once the plan is complete, we will use an expression of interest process to encourage landholders within the basin to make the modifications to the system," he said.

"There will be $250,000 available to our catchment, which will result in at least $500,000 worth of priority works undertaken.

"We will be contacting landholders in the basin in coming weeks, to let them know how they can get involved."

Mr Carter said the plan could not have been made possible without the support of Eyre Peninsula Natural Resource Management Board which had been supporting the group for almost three years and would continue to manage the drafting of the plan and the grant program on the group's behalf.

The basin is an area of 850 square kilometres and includes the towns of Wangary, Wanilla and Edillilie with Cummins lying just beyond the northern boundary.