Stock can cause pugging of dam banks, destroy vegetation through trampling, rubbing and chewing, and decrease the water quality in the dam from their urine and faecal contamination. Constant stock access can also significantly exacerbate soil erosion of dams and surrounding creek-lines. This can adversely affect water quality at a much larger spatial scale.
A farmer in Lockhart decided to fence off a creek and associated dam from stock in 2007. Native trees and shrubs were direct seeded around the dam and creek. A pump was installed and connected to a system of troughs in the surrounding paddocks.
There was an almost immediate improvement in the water quality of the dam and creek. High quality water supply has agronomic benefits through healthier and happier stock, and therefore improved whole farm economic outcomes from better animal production. This project also recorded improved environmental outcomes from greater biodiversity, reduced erosion and a healthier natural ecosystem.