Enhancing water efficiency in the Top End
NT Farmers Association, in collaboration with the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) are leading a three year project to enhance water sustainability in the Top End. The project will utilise state of the art technology to improve water efficiency and reduce the pressure on the region’s aquafers.
Funding from other partners has extended the project to five years, this will enable NT Farmers and industry to develop an accurate understanding of crop water requirements.
"The project will use real time data to optimise water usage by the industry and help to conserve our precious water resources. The project will build our understanding of the true water needs of each of our main crops in the Top End," NT Farmers Association CEO, Mr Paul Burke said.
CRCNA CEO Anne Stünzner praised the water productivity trial, acknowledging the work will set the scene for future water planning and decision-making.
"Efficient and effective water management underpins the long-term, sustainable production of high-value agricultural commodities. A direct result of improving water management, planning and resource allocation will be an increased confidence from producers to invest in their businesses’ future development,” she said.
At the end of the project, Northern Territory producers will have a clear understanding of when and how much to water their crops in order to produce the best possible yields, with high tech probes to be installed at several trial sites from Darwin to Katherine.
Mr Burke said the probes will record what happens to crops and soils throughout the year.
"The data collected will provide an efficient guide for industry to follow regarding its water usage.
"Not only will the project play an important role in collecting valuable data but it will also actively promote sustainable water practices to industry and raise water awareness with the public. A large component of the project will generate understanding about our water resources and what industry can do to sustainably manage it.
"NT Farmers will develop a wide range of interactive resources on our website and social media pages regarding water in the Top End and the findings of the project. I encourage everybody to regularly check out our website.
This project includes the following participants and funding partners:
- Northern Territory Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade
- Power and Water Corporation
- Territory Natural Resource Management Inc
- Northern Territory Department of Environment, Parks and Water
- Australian Mango Industry Association
"The project is overseen by a highly effective project committee that is comprised of a wide range of diverse stakeholders. NT Farmers is proud to be working with all stakeholders to ensure that water is sustainably managed for industry and future generations," Mr Burke said.
INPEX General Manager Northern Territory Roland Houareau said the Ichthys Joint Venture is proud to support water sustainability in partnership with NT Farmers and CRCNA.
"Together, we are contributing to a brighter future in the Territory,” he said.
Paul Burke, CEO NT Farmers Association | 0479 051 440