Land salinisation and rising water tables are not regarded as a significant problem for the tributaries of the Darling in the upper catchment, even though many of the soils have high salt levels and pose potential problems.
Along the Darling itself, surface salting has emerged in recent years adjacent to some very large off stream water storages in the Bourke area. The reason for this is still unclear.
The impact of irrigation on water tables and salt levels has not been fully assessed, but no known problems have arisen. Small, but locally significant areas adjacent to bore drains have been affected by salt, particularly where banks have been breached.
The challenge in addressing soil health along the Darling is to address the almost invisible nature of soil degradation and decline processes in an economic environment of low profit margins for most agricultural industries. These factors often delay actions until crisis situations occur.
Soil salinity and soil erosion are the most serious. A great deal of technical information is available for determining proper land use in accordance with land capability, best practice management and rehabilitation of degraded land. Best practice management revolves around vegetation and soil conservation management.