Increasing the resilience of horticultural systems to future flood events in the highly productive Laidley Creek Valley
The January 2013 floods badly affected horticultural production in the Laidley Creek Valley in south-east Queensland, causing significant floodplain scour and associated topsoil movement, and channel erosion. The Valley is a highly productive intensive horticultural area within the nationally important Lockyer Valley. For many producers, losses were aggravated by: (i) farm design and infrastructure planning that has been tailored to the management of normal rainfall runoff, rather than flood flows along the floodplain and; (ii) failure of stream bank/levee systems, resulting in large, uncontrolled pulses of flood waters across the floodplain causing scour. SEQ Catchments is working with Government and corporate partners to assist landowners increase the resilience of their production systems to future flood events. The starting point has been to develop a 2D stream and floodplain model of flood flow hydraulics and behaviour which has been used to test options (scenarios) for better managing both the Laidley Creek floodplain and channel. On-farm, SEQ Catchments is working with landowners to improve farm infrastructure planning to increase resilience to flood flow and to address bank/levee instability. Innovative work aimed at increasing floodplain roughness through strategic installation of cross-floodplain roughness structures (Vetiver and post hedges) is being adopted. SEQ Catchments is engaging with landowners to develop individualised farm plans that address other important planning issues for flood flow resilience including crop scheduling and stream restoration works.
Walker, J., Hardie, R., Zavadil, E. and Ghajarnia, H. (2016). Increasing the resilience of horticultural systems to future flood events in the highly productive Laidley Creek Valley. Acta Hortic. 1108, 233-240
Lockyer, floodplain, horticulture, resilient, sediment, recovery, agriculture