Return on Investment at Big Jacks Creek.


Return on Investment at Big Jacks Creek.

Capacity to Deliver -


The issue

Roger and Jill were concerned about their section of Big Jacks Creek which had become a degraded eroded channel.  They wanted to maximise water retention across their country, in a cost effective manner,  maximise their return on investment and increase profitability.

The solution

Working initially with an individual North West Local Land Services grant of $32,000 on a dollar for dollar basis Roger fenced 1.6km of the creek and installed alternate watering points for livestock.

In 2019 Roger and Jill joined Upper Mooki Landcare’s catchment project ‘Rehydrating the Landscape’, on a dollar for dollar grant through Local Land Services of $32,448.00. This grant was used for three specific activities:      

  1. Old contours redesigned to swales
  2. Annual fodder areas converted to permanent multi species cool season pasture, using cool season fescue, phalaris, cox foot, red, white and zulu clover, lucerne, some beans.
  3. Additional fencing enabled maximised planned grazing practices.

The impact

There were several key impacts:

  1. Nature took over (cost effective!), the creek began to heal, with fallen timber and vegetation forming structures across the creek. Natural leaky weirs slowed rate of water flow, created holding pools, more riparian vegetation, and water levels rose. Erosion decreased and water infiltration increased.
  2. Cattle graze the riparian area quickly two or three times a year at high stock densities, allowing long recovery periods. Trees and ground cover are maintained, while still being utilised for production.
  3. Construction of swales, enabling water to be held across paddocks with slow infiltration, creating small spectacular microsystems, with nearly zero runoff.
  4. Decreased inputs.
  5. Rehydration is constant, and erosion is negated. With constant growing vegetation, organic matter in the soil has increased and water infiltration is high.
  6. Cattle management changes has stimulated plant growth, and maximised organic input from manure and urine. Dung beetle activity has increased markedly with beetles following the cattle moves, and manure is taken down into the soil within 2 – 3 days.


  1. Facilitate natural processes to work to your advantage.
  2. Plan ahead for improvement to be “grant ready”
  3. Use “free” expertise to help design improvements.

Key facts

  • 1. Funding opportunities allowed improvements
  • 2. Small structural changes enabled significant rehydration without additional rainfall.
  • 3. Water moves slowly through the landscape.
  • 4. Creek health and biodiversity has increased.
  • 5. Return on investment has increased.

Project Partners