The Future Farm Industries CRC’s CATPlus project further develops and applies the existing Catchment Analysis Tool (CAT) model to better predict the effects of perennial vegetation systems on water quality and quantity in a catchment. It models and evaluates the impact of land uses, such as plantation forestry and increasing the perenniality of pasture, on catchment water resources.
The CAT model links farming systems models to groundwater and stream processes. It was developed by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries and the former CRC Salinity to assess the catchment-scale impacts of current and new farming systems.
The CATPlus project uses historical data and current measurements to predict the impact of various land use changes on catchment water yield.
The Catplus project has focused on two catchment areas — the Wannon River catchment in south-west Victoria and the Tarcutta Creek catchment in southern New South Wales. In both locations, researchers engaged local expert groups to define and test the impacts of various scenarios.
The CATPlus modelling has shown the importance of using the right tool or land use in the right area of a catchment, as the impact of land use varies according to rainfall. To have the most benefit for soil health, environment and farm productivity, along with the least impact on water yield, the land use changes must be in the most suitable part of the catchment.
Contact: Dr Aleks Rancic, Office of Environment and Heritage NSW
This website contains information about the CRC’s research into perennial plant based farming systems.
This site will remain live until 30 June 2017 but is no longer being updated or reviewed.
Further information about CRC research projects can be obtained by following links from relevant project pages or by viewing the research transfer page.
The CRC was funded for seven years (2007-2014) under the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre program.