Indicators of Effective Water CycleIndicators of an effective water cycle include:
- The soil surface is loose and permeable. There is no capping.
- The soil below the surface is permeable and well aerated, and free from any ‘plough pan’, a band of compacted soil that is often found about 15 cm (6”) below the surface, especially if there is a history of cropping.
- Water runoff is very low, and what movement there is, is very slow.
- Any water that runs off is clear.
- Evaporation losses are minimised.
- Both droughts and floods tend to be less frequent and less severe.
- Total vegetative production is high.
- Vegetation growth rates are very rapid.
- Diversity of species composition is improving.
- Succession is rising
- There is a high organic matter content in the soil, meaning soil carbon levels are high.
- Springs will begin to reappear.
- Streams will flow for longer.
- Salinity, if present, will be reducing
Indicators of an ineffective water cycle include:
- The soil surface is exposed, sealed or capped.
- The soil below the surface is compacted and poorly aerated.
- Water-logging is common
- Water runoff is high, and usually rapid.
- Water running off is dirty with top soil.
- Evaporation losses are very high.
- Droughts and floods tend to increase in frequency and severity.
- Underground water supplies often diminish.
- Dryland salinity increases in area and severity.
- Vegetation grows more slowly, less vigorously, and there is less total mass produced each season.
- Soil organic matter is low.
Return to Main menu Feedback and Comments