IFWUEAs and irrigation consultants

What is an IFWUEA?

The purpose of the IFWUEA is to identify where on-farm irrigation water losses occur and provide a quantification of those losses.

An IFWUEA is a prerequisite to applying for infrastructure funding under the STBIFM and will be used by DPI during the assessment of realistic water savings in any subsequent infrastructure funding application submitted to the program.

An IFWUEA will assist eligible irrigators to determine if efficiencies can be gained by modernising on-farm irrigation infrastructure.

Why undertake an IFWUEA?

IFWUEAs assist irrigators developing a funding proposal for infrastructure modernisation by enabling them to develop infrastructure options which address the on-farm irrigation water losses occurring on their farms.

In preparing an IFWUEA, DPI recommends irrigators engage the services of a suitably certified and/or accredited Irrigation Consultant to assist with analysis, interpretation and communication of information. IFWUEAs must be certified by a suitable Irrigation Consultant before submission to DPI.  A verified  IFWUEA becomes a part of any subsequent infrastructure application and will be used by DPI during the assessment of the application for technical feasibility and realistic water savings.

Note: An application for infrastructure funding cannot be considered without being accompanied by a verified IFWUEA. Please refer to Round 9 Guidelines for details.

What will an IFWUEA provide to me?

It is important to identify the scope for improvement in irrigation performance through assessing the potential water losses. Information generated from the IFWUEA will allow irrigators to identify the most cost-effective options for modernisation and will assist in developing a funding proposal.

What funding is available?

Funding may be provided to eligible irrigators to assist in meeting the total cost of undertaking an IFWUEA.

The funding for IFWUEAs will be implemented by DPI under the following guidelines:

  1. DPI will subsidise an eligible irrigator up to 80 per cent to a maximum of $2,000 (excluding GST) toward the cash cost of an IFWUEA per farming business (i.e. per ABN number) for the assessment of irrigation water losses.
  2. The eligible irrigator must contribute a minimum of 20 per cent of the cash cost of the IFWUEA
  3. Where a farm plan already exists that has been created using government funding, IFWUEA funding will be limited to the amount necessary to update the plan to meet the IFWUEA standards.
  4. Funding will only be made available for IFWUEAs that are certified by an accredited irrigation consultant.

Where a farm plan exists that has been created with the assistance of Government funding, funding for an IFWUEA will be limited to the amount necessary to update the plan.

IFWUEA documents

Suitably Certified Irrigation Consultants (ICs)

IFWUEAs must be certified.

It is expected that ICs will have a range of water loss assessment skills, methods and experience including (but not limited to):-

  • Skills in assessing irrigation water losses such as from water storages, field application systems, distribution systems and irrigation management practices.
  • Methods of water loss assessment such as using recognised computer aided modelling products and/or mapping to quantify losses to an industry standard.
  • Experience in conducting water loss assessment calculations on a relevant irrigation system and its parts for example storages, flood/surface, spray and drip irrigation system components.

Irrigation Consultants will satisfy the following assessment criteria:

  1. A suitable irrigation consultant must be certified and/or accredited by an irrigation related independent body which has an appeal or review process and a code of conduct.
  2. Have a current ABN and be registered for GST.
  3. Hold the following insurance during the term of involvement with STBIFM:
  4. Any insurance which is compulsory under the laws for the time being in force in any jurisdiction where the irrigation consultant conducts the IFWUEA services.

Examples of suitable accrediting bodies include (but are not limited to):

  • Irrigation Australia Limited - Certified Irrigation Designers with relevant speciality,
  • Irrigation Australia Limited - Certified Irrigation Agronomist,
  • Irrigation Surveyors and Designers Group - corporate member,
  • Ag Institute Australia - AgCreditation,
  • Crop Consultants Australia Association - Professional Consultant
  • Engineers Australia

If in doubt regarding the certification of an Irrigation Consultant or any other aspect of completing and submitting an IFWUEA contact:

Robert Hoogers, Irrigation Development Officer, Yanco

T: 02 6951 2628
M: 0427208613
E: robert.hoogers@dpi.nsw.gov.au

DPI reserves the right to request evidence of relevant skills and experience of a potential Irrigation Consultant.

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