Wise Watering Irrigation Management Course

Colour photograph showing groups of people standing in a field with a large overhead irrigation system  - part of an Irrigation Partnership Program.The Wise Watering Irrigation Management Program was developed in part from the NSW Agriculture WaterWise on the farm education program and The Mallee Wells Irrigators manual.

This course was developed and presented by Davey & Maynard, in association with Armstrong Agricultural Services, Serve-Ag, Hinton Agricultural Consulting, Rural Development Services and the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment in 2001. The Wise Watering project is part of the Tasmanian Irrigation Partnership Program, which was funded jointly by the State Government and Natural Heritage Trust.

What is Wise Watering on the Farm?

This course is an education and awareness program that promotes the adoption of best irrigation management practices and technologies. Wise Watering aims to assist irrigated enterprises to:

1. improve on-farm productivity and water use efficiency;
2. improve on-farm water management;
3. improve the profitability of irrigation; and
4. adopt practices which sustain land and water resources on- and off-farm.

Why is it Important to Improve Irrigation Management?

There are many reasons why we have to think seriously about how we use water to produce our crops and earn a living.

Some of these are the increasing competition for water, the increasing cost of water and recent changes in the allocation and use of water. As water users we must take the lead in adopting a professional approach to water use and management, documenting our claims on the resources in a creditable fashion, and pursuing excellence in the practice of irrigation and drainage.

Other reasons for improved irrigation and drainage management include:

You can improve your production per megalitre.
Improved water use will grow better crops by giving them optimum soil moisture levels and reducing crop exposure to periods of waterlogging and drought.

You can reduce the cost of production.
We can improve our water use efficiency through applying the right amount of water at the right time. Improved water use efficiency means reducing the amount of water which is not used by the crop, minimising system losses and reducing unnecessary pumping which all help to reduce the cost of producing a crop.

You can reduce pests and diseases.
Healthier crops and increased crop productivity all add up to more dollars in our pockets. Maintaining optimum soil moisture will aid crop performance and fewer problems with maintaining the health of our crops.

You may end up with surplus irrigation water.
If we improve our irrigation efficiency it may provide us with surplus irrigation water which can be used for further cropping or provide an income through sale or lease of surplus water needs. This means more dollars.

You can reduce impacts on the environment.
Because we rely on water we must safeguard it from deteriorating in quality. Reducing excess irrigation minimises waterlogging, soil salinity, leaching of nutrients and chemicals, and the amount of saline groundwater seepage into our rivers and streams.

You will be ensuring the long-term survival of our industry.
Improved irrigation management practices are the key to our long-term survival as an irrigation industry because the health of our rivers and land depends on best irrigation management practices.

Course Material

The following course guides can be downloaded in PDF Format.

Introduction to Wise Watering Irrigation Management Course

Modules

1) Assessing Your Water Resources
2) Assessing Your Soil Resources for Irrigation
3) Irrigation Equipment and Techniques
4) Using Recycled Water for Irrigation
5) Farm Business Management Issues
6) Irrigation Scheduling
6a) Irrigation Scheduling with Capacitance Probes
7) Fodder and Cash Crops - Irrigation Requirements



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