Advancing water management
Setting up a flow meter to measure the amount of water used on a field
The Australian Cotton Growers Research Association (ACGRA), NSW DPI and Catchment Management Authorities have identified the key priority for initial investment needs to be in developing a highly effective water use efficiency extension team. With this being the primary objective, funds will be pooled from the CRC industry, NSW DPI and CMAs and directed to secure full time water use efficiency staff in each major cotton region and to resource these staff with adequate equipment and operating capability. Although the cotton industry is recognised as an industry leader in water use efficiency, recent surveys indicate average water use efficiency across the cotton industry to be 57 percent. This has already resulted in salinity impacts in the Macquarie Valley. The cotton industry has set an objective to achieve an average whole farm water use efficiency of 75 percent. Improvements in water use efficiency have triple bottom line outcomes. On-farm water use efficiency improvements will reduce deep drainage and river salinity implications for the cotton industry while improving irrigation industry competitiveness.
A flume used to measure runoff with an advanced meter at the front
The primary aim of this project is to lift industry water use efficiency through a coordinated industry approach to advisory and education/training services in water use efficiency (WUE) incorporating demonstrations and trials and delivery of a modified Waterwise on the Farm training course that incorporates Cotton industry's BMP guidelines and assist CMAs achieve CAP and Investment Plan targets relevant to the cotton industry. This project will contribute to a 15% increase in whole farm water use efficiency over the next five years by irrigation in the Namoi Valley and other valleys. The project will also include development and delivery of economic information on irrigation systems and management to assist cotton grower adoption of improved systems and management.
The project will implement aspects of Stage 1 of the Cotton Knowledge Management Project, particularly the aspects of local trials for growers to evaluate on farm irrigation options and the training of the private sector to support on-farm irrigation decision making.
Exchangeable Sodium Percentages and Chloride contributions to the soil profile at a cotton field in the Macquarie Valley. Cotton was grown in this field during the summer of 2003–4, but has not been grown since. This field will re-enter the rotation in coming seasons given suitable water availability.
The Australian Cotton Growers Research Association (ACGRA), NSW DPI and Catchment Management Authorities.
Orange Head Office
Note: This project was completed June 30, 2008.