The management of soil is an important consideration, particularly in urban areas and on rural properties where the risk of significant off-site impacts must be managed.
Soil is made up of air, water, minerals and organic material and is one of the most important natural resources on earth. Most life on earth depends on soil as a direct or indirect source of food. Plants and animals source their nutrients from the soil and it is home to many different forms of life. Soil comes in a variety of forms and takes many years to develop, however it can be destroyed very easily.
Erosion is a major contributor of soil loss/degradation in the Northern Territory. The loss of topsoil caused by water erosion can lead to vegetation loss, soil fertility loss and the silting up of waterways. Preventing soil loss before it happens is a more effective method than trying to rectify a problem once it has started.
Land resource information is the collection and documentation of land form, soil and vegetation information to determine the capability of land for current and future land uses. Its primary aim is to provide an inventory of land resources so as to reduce the risks in decision making.
Land resource information has been collected in the Territory since the 1946; in fact the first survey in Australia was a survey of the Katherine-Darwin Region. Land resource information today is used daily as a decision support tool. The information has a wide range of uses, from assessing subdivision proposals, agricultural developments, pastoral land management to monitoring programs and conservation projects.