Rural water use efficiency
The rural water use efficiency - irrigation futures (RWUE-IF) initiative helps irrigators make better use of their on-farm water supplies, through efficient irrigation system design and management.
It also helps irrigators reduce the energy consumption associated with their pumping applications.
RWUE-IF is a partnership between the Queensland Government and major rural industries, where the government provides financial support to industry groups to provide services to irrigators.
Each industry group implements RWUE-IF via their respective programs to provide services to irrigators, including:
- providing information through workshops, field days, fact sheets and web-based tools on ways to improve water and energy efficiency
- conducting assessments on irrigation and pumping systems to determine their efficiency and to identify where water and energy savings can be made
- offering incentives to irrigators to encourage them to make system and practice changes
- providing advice on managing agricultural wastewater, including the management of nutrients applied through irrigation.
Priority has been given to those areas where water allocations are reduced or under stress to assist those irrigators in dealing with less water available to them. In some areas impacted by issues such as rising water tables, assistance was provided to promote sustainable on-farm water use.
RWUE-IF involves the following industry groups:
- Queensland Cane Growers Organisation - Canegrowers
- Queensland Dairyfarmers' Organisation - QDO
- Queensland Turf Producers Association
- Flower Association of Queensland
- Nursery and Garden Industry Queensland.
For the latter three industries, the focus of RWUE-IF is on their production sectors.
In addition to the industry programs Irrigation Australia Ltd and the National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture are supporting 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.
The government has provided funding of $8 million over four years from July 2013. The program is being delivered statewide, except in the Queensland portion of the Murray-Darling Basin where the Healthy HeadWaters program operates.
Industry and support grants that have been awarded to date are summarised below:
|Rural industry group||Project||Funding 2014–2017|
|Canegrowers||Burdekin - on-farm irrigation system efficiency; dewatering bores; climate and soil/water information systems.|
Tablelands - work with the Northern Gulf NRM group to promote practice change for irrigation system efficiencies in Arriga basin.
Whitsundays/Proserpine, Mackay/Sarina and Bundaberg/Childers - development of climate and soil/water information systems
|Queensland Dairyfarmers' Organisation||Upper Johnstone and Herbert - maintain/improve productivity through water and nutrient use efficiency and irrigation system change.|
Callide Valley - maintain/improve productivity through water and nutrient use efficiency and irrigation system change.
South East Queensland - maintain/improve productivity through water and nutrient use efficiency and irrigation system change
|Growcom||Lakeland - maintain/improve productivity through irrigation system evaluations and irrigation scheduling. Upper Herbert and Johnstone, Lockyer, Burnett, Central Highlands and Mareeba-Dimbulah - improve productivity and sustainability through irrigation system evaluations, irrigation scheduling and fertigation techniques||$1,200,000|
|Nursery and Garden Industry Queensland||Queensland wide - Improve productivity and sustainability through development of whole of farm management plans||$800,000|
|Turf Queensland||Southern and Northern Queensland - implement irrigation technology advancements and benchmarking to underpin farm productivity improvements||$365,342|
|Flower Association Queensland||Sunshine Coast and North Queensland - demonstrate water use efficiency through implementation of efficient irrigation hardware and practices||$313,000|
|Support organisations||Project||Funding 2014–2015|
|Irrigation Australia Ltd.||Up-skill the irrigation supply sector and private service providers and provide technical support to industry programs||$319,000|
|National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture||Host and maintain software and engage with irrigators through industry programs to facilitate the uptake of new technologies||$239,000|
|Irrigation Australia Ltd.||Irrigation sector engagement, professional development, industry and irrigator support and training.||$233,666|
|National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture||Software maintenance, development and training for improved irrigation management.||$234,530|
Grants awarded for additional short term projects are summarised below:
|Organisation||Project||Funding 2014 – 2015|
|National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture||Develop and promote technologies which will assist irrigators with scheduling and water management||$89,190|
|Growcom||Target improving on-farm management decision making using precision agriculture techniques||$80,000|
|Growcom||Develop best management practices for on-farm sediment control that will complement their current farm management system modules relating to water efficiency, nutrient management and water quality.||$80,000|
|Irrigation Australia Limited||Fast-track the uptake of certification to improve the skills of workers in Queensland's irrigation service sector such as consultants and suppliers||$41,600|
|Irrigation Australia Limited||Develop codes of practice and standards for rural irrigation systems to guide and assist irrigation designers, consultants, suppliers contractors and ultimately irrigators to achieve best practice||$75,000|
|Queensland Dairyfarmers' Organisation||Investigate the feasibly of using current alternative energy technologies for irrigation systems||$20,000|
|Queensland Dairyfarmers' Organisation||Establish a demonstration farm in Callide Valley to exhibit management practices in water use efficiency and management of poor quality irrigation water||$93,500|
|National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture||Develop mobile interface for Scheduling Irrigation Diary & benchmark system capacity||$89,190|
|National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture||Develop a water management decision support tool on PC and mobile platforms.||$59,210|
Previous Program Evaluations
Karen Murday, Operations Support
Department of Natural Resources and Mines
PO Box 15216
CITY EAST QLD 4002
Useful industry contacts
Ph: (07) 4688 1559
Ph: (07) 3821 3350
Ph: (07) 3236 2956
Ph: (07) 4613 1066
Mob: 0408 135 002
Nursery & Garden
Ph: (07) 3277 7900
Ph: (07) 3864 6444
Ph: (07) 3488 0916
- Last reviewed: 07 Dec 2016
- Last updated: 07 Dec 2016