On the Road to Better Management: An investigation into the benefits of managing the impacts of dryland salinity on roads
In Australia, more than 80 per cent of regional towns and cities have ongoing repair costs due to local infrastructure damage from dryland salinity. In some salt affected catchments up to 30 per cent of regional roads are affected to some degree, with major highway reconstruction costing up to $1million per kilometre. This research investigates a series of different road types in order to quantify the net benefits of alternative abatement strategies and to determine when government intervention is justified to encourage landholders to assist in action to mitigate the impacts of dryland salinity on roads. The paper shows that cooperation with landholders in terms of revegetation strategies is not effective or profitable when dryland salinity is at an advanced stage and already having impacts upon the road. Where suitable revegetation strategies are available, and the risk from dryland salinity is not imminent, then revegetation strategy can be effective and, in some cases, a net benefit to the catchment.
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