Innovation is key to improving on-farm irrigation efficiency, with solar pumps and sprinklers that regulate water based on the soil type some of the key technologies that can be utilised, according to Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority.
The authority said these were some of the technologies being used across 98 projects that are being funded as part of the $35million spent on the latest round of the Farm Water Program.
Goulburn Broken CMA chief executive officer Chris Norman said there were more than 10000ha of farm irrigation efficiency works under way across the region.
‘‘By round’s end, there will also be over 13Gl in water savings generated through these works,’’ Mr Norman said.
‘‘Irrigators know they need to have their farms as efficient as possible to meet future water and energy challenges.
‘‘The Farm Water Program has been successfully helping farmers achieve this over the past six years.’’
The project has received funding from state and federal governments, with a focus on assisting irrigators to achieve water savings through greater efficiencies, with a portion of the saved water ultimately returned to the governments for environmental use.
Mr Norman said the program had resulted in a number of benefits.
‘‘The increased farm productivity, water saved and resulting benefits for the environment are invaluable to the region,’’ he said.
‘‘The modernisation of our region’s irrigation properties creates jobs, provides food security and bolsters irrigator confidence.
‘‘Without these opportunities, our irrigated landscape would look vastly different and the future less secure.”
On-farm works have included installation of pipes and risers, irrigation scheduling and pressurised systems, laser grading, gravity channel irrigation and drainage reuse, with the project seeing 600 individual projects funded.