Rural drainage systems are being transformed in a move to make them more environmentally friendly and provide local wildlife with new homes. The collaborative effort to change the way river drainage systems work is the first of its kind for the Water Corporation in regional WA, with the Harvey river Restoration Task Force doing on- ground work based on recommendations from Technical Reference Groups. Water Corporation is providing the project with $135,000 over three years, with further funding from the State Natural Resource Management Program and Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through the Royalties for Regions Regional Community Services Fund. The premise of the project is to re-vegetate drainage banks and strategically place logs within the drain to imitate a natural stream. Murdoch University scientist Steven Beatty, who is part of the team delivering the project, said by installing logs to mimic natural waterways, they could create a habitat suitable for many different species such as marron, quenda, freshwater turtles, birds, and water bugs. “Together with our citizen scientists, who will help monitor the program, we hope to see signs of much more fauna in the area over the next year or two,” he said. Water Corporation South West regional manager Nicky Waite said the project was a move to transform drains in natural habitats, upgrading them from their original 1990 designs. “With the help of science, we are now looking towards more sustainable ways of managing infrastructure so that drains can be better integrated into the natural environment,” she said. The revitalisation of the Harvey River main drain is a collaborative project between the Water Corporation, the Harvey River Restoration Taskforce, Greening Australia, and the Alcoa Foundation. It falls under the Marron, More Than a Meal — Revive our Rivers program, which aims to protect, enhance, and connect waterways and wetland habitats within the Harvey River catchment.