Rehydration and Water

Our rangeland rehydration initiatives, underpin the many other rangeland management activities that Rangelands NRM supports, particularly ESRM –Ecologically Sustainable Rangelands Management–plans.

Water is the driver of almost everything in the rangelands. Well managed, it invigorates ecosystems, livestock and wildlife as well as enterprises and rural communities.

However, destructive soil erosion is often caused by water runoff during flood events. Understanding river behaviour and working to restore water retention higher in the landscape through ‘rangelands rehydration’ is key to reverting the destructive forces unleashed during flood events. For example, sieve filter structures can be used to manage varying erosion types and water flow, effectively controlling erosion.

Working with rangelands rehydration expert Dr Hugh Pringle, and his EMU™ process, Rangelands NRM is helping to build an understanding of landscape function analysis and rehydrating the landscape among pastoralists. Dr Pringle applies land manager priorities first and assists them with identifying the correct ‘tools’ for situations.  They learn to assess the health of country, understand rangeland condition and use strategic criteria to develop ‘bang for buck’ repair programs. This very open dialogue and land manager control of the end product has proven to be empowering rather than prescriptive, offering complimentary outcomes to alternative ecosystem processes such as ESRM.

Additionally, Rangelands NRM has promoted the work of Peter Andrews and ‘Natural Sequence Farming’ which also looks at on-ground works to reduce erosion and increase rehydration of the land.

Rehydration and soil conservation work conducted by land managers after learning about rangelands rehydration has a greater probability of achieving the desired outcomes, providing environmental and economic benefits.