SMC Synergy has been appointed as an independent service provider for the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) and assisted the NRM Programme of the Department to capture land degradation information for the catchments draining into the Mount Fletcher dam. The dam lost more than 70% of its water holding capacity as silt from the catchment has ended up in the dam. Overgrazing in the mountain grasslands, poor planning, construction and maintenance of roads has damaged the wetland and river ecosystems that flow into the dam, causing topsoil erosion and the formation of huge erosion gullies.
The World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) degradation mapping methodology was used to stratify and map the land degradation in the quaternary catchments feeding the dam. Various options for erosion restoration were also extracted from the WOCAT Global Database on SLM technologies. High resolution aerial photographs as well as point cloud data were collected with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - this assisted in determining the extend and severity of some of the erosion features around the dam as well as the effectiveness of existing restoration works. Archived satellite data were also used in the mapping of degradation and existing conservation works.