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Less irrigation raises question of environmental effects

Environmental assessment normally is associated with expansion but, as irrigators in the Riverina have found, the effects of less water are also of interest.

Funding was made available through the National Program for Sustainable Irrigation last year as part of a three year research program to quantify the effects of changing irrigation strategies on biodiversity in the region.

Rice may flourish using less water

There are encouraging signs from a new study at the Yanco Agricultural Institute that delaying flooding could be a successful strategy for saving water without loss of rice production.

The investigation was prompted by an industry hit hard by the water shortage and anxious to find ways of producing with less.

Drip irrigation has little effect on structure

Environmental and management benefits from drip irrigation outweigh effects on soil condition and the method could be made even more efficient by addressing the naturally poor structure of Australian soil which is made worse by compaction under tractor wheels.

A new generation of irrigation researchers is encouraged

How use of wastewater in irrigation will affect salt distribution in soils is among research interests of undergraduate students supported by National Program for Sustainable Irrigation this summer.

Irrigation looks beyond the latest equipment

Current commercial irrigation technologies may not be enough to help irrigated agriculture perform to its potential, particularly in times of water scarcity.

Irrigation scholarship winner explores change factors

Relationships between irrigation practices, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions will be further investigated by Irrigation Australia Ltd travel fellowship winner Tamara Jackson.

The National Program for Sustainable Irrigation provides $10,000 each year to support the fellowship. This year’s winner was announced at the recent annual conference of Irrigation Australia Ltd, held in Swan Hill.

University Student Vacation Scholarship Program

The National Program for Sustainable Irrigations vision is ‘Australian irrigation that is valued for its environmental, economic and social contribution’. The Program aims to provide direct partnerships between the irrigation industry, irrigation researchers (or extension officers) and university students.