A water quality improvement plan for the Leschenault Estuary will be released by the Department of Water for public comment on 16 August 2011.


The development of the plan was supported by a community advisory group with representatives from the Leschenault Catchment Council, state and government agencies, and industry organisations. 


The plan identifies nutrient sources in the catchment, and sets priority management actions to reduce nutrients while considering environmental, social and cultural values.


Excessive nutrients in the estuary and lower river systems have resulted in annual blooms of algae which, in previous years, have led to occasional fish deaths in the lower Collie and Brunswick Rivers.


"We have developed the plan to provide long-term improvement and protection of water quality in the Leschenault Estuary," Leschenault-Collie District Manager Mike McKenna said. 


"While nutrient levels in the estuary have remained at relatively low concentrations over the past ten years, these concentrations are still above those considered acceptable under the national water quality standards," he said.


While the plan identified that the majority of nutrients from the Leschenault Estuary catchment are coming from agricultural sources, a disproportionally high nutrient load is also discharged into waterways from significantly smaller urban-related developments.


"The results clearly showed areas where priority action needs to occur but equally recognised that the success of the plan relies on a collaborative approach involving all stakeholders and the community," Mr McKenna said.


"As part of the problem, we can all contribute to the solution."


The plan seeks to work with all sectors of the community to support best management practices to improve water quality, water use efficiency and sustainable development towards contributing to the long-term protection of the Leschenault Estuary.


The Leschenault Estuary water quality improvement plan, together with supporting and technical documents, is available from www.water.wa.gov.au and is open for comment until 26 September 2011.