Maraseni, Tek N. and Mushtaq, Shahbaz (2011) Technological change in the Australian irrigation industry: implications for future resource management and policy development. In: Irrigation 2011: New Horizons, Fresh Ideas Regional Conference and Exhibition, 22-25 Aug 2011, Launceston, Australia.
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Recent research sponsored by the National Water Commission explores the trade-offs between water savings, energy use (and greenhouse gas emissions) and economic gain through the implementation of more water efficient, but more energy intensive forms of irrigation technologies on-farm. The study shows, through a series of case studies and scenarios, that converting to more water-efficient pressurised irrigation systems can result in significant water savings and economic returns for the cropping scenarios analysed. Using a range of assumed carbon prices, the costs associated with increases in greenhouse gas emissions for most of the case studies did offset the economic gain but this was not as influential as water savings, productivity gains and labour savings.
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