Rural water use efficiency (RWUE-IF) program

RWUE-IF is a partnership arrangement between the Queensland Government and rural irrigation industries.

The aim of the program is to improve the use and management of on-farm irrigation water to improve productivity and sustainability of rural industries; support government initiatives; and achieve natural resource management outcomes.

In allocating funding, we target areas where water allocations are reduced or under stress, or impacted by issues such as rising water tables.

For more information about the program and its achievements, read:

Accessing industry projects

Assistance to irrigators is provided via their industry association. It may include technical advice, irrigation system evaluations, limited financial assistance, field days, workshops and exposure to web-based technologies. See below for details of this year's projects.

For more information on how you can access these projects, contact your industry group directly.

Cotton industry projects

Cotton Australia
Contact: Michael Murray
Phone: 0427 707 868

The project will provide financial incentives for the uptake of technologies and services with demonstrated water use efficiency value linked to uptake of best management practices and training. Case studies will be developed to demonstrate savings derived from key grower projects for dissemination to the industry.

Funding 2017–18: $100,000

Dairy farming projects

Queensland Dairyfarmers' Organisation - QDO
Contact: Ruth Chalk
Phone: (07) 3236 2956

Targeted areas: Callide Valley, Lockyer Valley and Queensland Murray-Darling Basin and priority areas as identified

The project will assist dairy and fodder growers through the:

  • use of proven extension methodologies
  • application of learnings from previous project delivery
  • use of new technologies and tools, including decision support tools delivered through KMSI
  • provision of on-farm advisory services through extension staff and independent specialists
  • provision of targeted financial assistance.

Funding 2017–18: $308,625

Flower industry projects

Flower Association of Queensland
Contact: Shane Holborn
Phone: (07) 3821 3350

Targeted areas: Great Barrier Reef catchments

The project will include on-farm irrigation assessments and technical advice, as well as the development and promotion of case studies.

Funding 2017–18: $61,000

Horticulture projects

Contact: Scott Wallace
Phone: (07) 4613 1066
Mobile: 0408 135 002

Targeted areas: Granite Belt and eastern Darling Downs - reduced water allocations

The project will support horticulture growers to implement improved water resource and energy efficiency practices through farm action planning, decision support tools and on-farm technical support and training.

Funding 2017–18: $300,000

Nursery and garden projects

Nursery and Garden Industry Queensland
Contact: Steve Hart
Phone: (07) 3277 7900

Targeted areas: Wet Tropics, Mackay/Whitsunday, Dry Tropics, Granite Belt/Downs and Lockyer Valley

The project will drive incremental improvements and whole-of-farm change through assessment, planning and upgrades to irrigation infrastructure and practice.

Funding 2017–18: $200,000

Sugar industry projects

Queensland Cane Growers Organisation - Canegrowers
Contact: Burn Ashburner
Phone: (07) 3864 6444

Total funding for 2017–18: $709,500

Targeted areas: Lower Burdekin in areas of rising groundwater

The project will provide:

  • financial incentives for dewatering bores for conjunctive use with surface water
  • on-farm irrigation assessments and technical advice in relation to on-farm water management to reduce deep drainage
  • tools and information to ensure appropriate scheduling and management of crop water requirements.

Targeted areas: Arriga Plains in areas of rising groundwater

The project will provide:

  • on-farm irrigation assessments and technical advice in relation to on-farm water management to reduce deep drainage as well as financial incentives to encourage uptake
  • tools and information to ensure appropriate scheduling and management of crop water requirements.

Targeted areas: Pioneer and other irrigated areas

The project will provide on-farm irrigation assessments and technical advice and as well as tools and technical advice.

Turf industry projects

Turf Queensland
Contact: Jim Vaughan
Phone: (07) 3488 0916

This project will include a comprehensive evaluation of results of RWUE within the turf industry since their involvement with the project, to capture changes and benefits across the industry. Results will be disseminated to the industry to promote further change across the state.

Funding 2017–18: $57,000

Other industry support

The National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture (NCEA) supports the industry programs by enhancing the development and uptake of new technologies and practices in the irrigation sector and improving the technical capacity of service providers to deliver competent services.

In 2017–18, the NCEA received $122,197 to:

  • maintain existing KMSI decision support tools
  • update and upgrade selected tools
  • evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of tool suite
  • provide promotion and training to support departmental objectives including statewide non-urban water metering.

The NCEA also received $122,100 for its engagement program to upskill and transfer irrigation efficiency skills and promote the uptake of decision support tools into existing extension networks throughout Queensland. This will occur by leveraging existing irrigation supply and manufacturing networks and forming relationships with others, for example, sugar productivity boards.


For more information on the RWUE-IF program, contact your local business centre.