Dairy Australia and our partners work on a number fronts to secure better water outcomes for farmers and the industry, from influencing policy makers to on-farm research.
Selecting the best irrigation system
Information from this research helps farmers and catchment planners make decisions about when to invest in pressurised, surface or subsurface drip irrigation.
High flow surface irrigation
This technique is being promoted as improving cost effective water use, despite there being no scientific understanding of benefits, or how variable flows can optimise water application efficiency. The cost of upgrading to this system is approx $50-100K, with soil type, installation design etc impacting on costs and benefits.
This High Flow project will build scientific understanding of the benefits and costs involved, across a range of soil types and pasture regimes. Outputs will include case study reports for each site investigation and farm flow rate guidelines farmers or their advisers could use to evaluate the efficiency of their current farm systems and identify appropriate changes.
For more information, contact Leanne Mulcachy at Murray Dairy.
Saving water in dairies
A dairy farmer survey in 2000 found the most efficient dairy sheds used under 2,000 litres of water per cow each year. At the other end of the scale, the most water used was 38,000 litres per cow each year – almost 20 times more than the best performers.
Identifying reliable water sources
Dairy Australia commissioned a study to look at water availability, use and reliability for all significant dairy catchments. These studies help identify likely changes to supply due to policy or competitive changes to availability of water. Data is being collated on:
- Sources of water in the region and estimates of reliability
- Water usage by industry
- Amount of water dairy uses by catchment or supply area
- The history of allocation over the past decade
- Amount of water traded and to which industry
For more information, contact Cathy Phelps at Dairy Australia.