More drip irrigations from farmers are needed to meet demand for irrigation and water supply in Australia, and the industry will need to continue to improve to meet the demand.
Farmers in Queensland are now relying on a new technology called drip irrigation to provide enough water for irrigation.
Read more”We have a massive need for drip irrigation,” said Dr Mark Smith, chief executive of the Queensland Cooperative Irrigation Association (RCIA).
“We’re talking about about up to 40 per cent of our irrigated area, which is a huge area.”
Dr Smith said he was concerned by the lack of information and research available about drip irrigation.
“We know drip irrigation is an effective technology and it is available to farmers,” he said.
“There’s nothing to indicate that there’s not a problem with it.”
In 2016, the Federal Government announced a new policy of increasing the amount of drip irrigation water farmers can buy.
Dr Smith is hopeful the drip irrigation industry will adapt and get more information out to farmers.
“Drip irrigation has become more and more prevalent over the last two to three years,” he told ABC News Breakfast.
“I think the industry is going to need to adapt to meet that demand.”
Dr Peter Lewis, president of the Australian Water Industry Association (AWIA), said there was an increasing demand for drip irrigators.
“It’s a growing issue and I think it’s a matter of time before the drip industry is able to meet those demands,” he explained.
“But it is important to recognise that it is not only about the farmers, but the water companies that are also the customers.”
The drip water is delivered to their property, but that’s it.
They get water from their local water supplier.
They have no idea how it’s coming in.
“Dr Lewis said the drip water had a higher than average return on investment and it was not always the cheapest option.”
When you buy drip irrigation, you’re buying a product that is highly effective at helping you meet the needs of your irrigation system,” he added.”
You can’t just throw it out.
It needs to be managed.
“Read more’Drip water is a highly effective tool for managing drought’Dr Peter Jones, a water specialist at the Australian Research Council’s Centre for Water and Energy Systems, said drip irrigation had been shown to improve water management and irrigation efficiency.”
Drinkwater systems are the most efficient systems for water management in the world, and we have found that the drip system, or drip irrigation in general, has the highest return on water investment,” he stated.”
If we’re getting more drip irrigation than we need, it’s because the system is producing more water.””
Drainage systems can be built using materials such as clay, sand or gravel, which are not as expensive as traditional drip systems.
They can be integrated into existing irrigation systems or new irrigation systems and provide much needed water and nutrient to farmers and consumers.””
The technology of drip water systems is rapidly advancing and the technology is becoming more affordable.
“Read the ABC’s latest report on drip irrigation and how farmers can reduce water demand for agriculture here