Trends in the surface irrigation systems in the Australian irrigated agriculture

Koech, R. K. (2011) Trends in the surface irrigation systems in the Australian irrigated agriculture. In: SEAg 2011: Diverse Challenges, Innovative Solutions, 29-30 Sep 2011, Gold Coast, Australia.

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Surface irrigation methods are simple, mostly gravity driven and therefore have lower energy requirements. However, these systems are often seen as being inefficient both in labour and water usage. As the competition for the scarce water resources and greater emphasis on environmental conservation gain ground, more focus has been directed towards surface systems. On the one hand, some irrigators have converted to pressurised systems which are seen to be more water efficient. This is reflected in the decline of 28% of the proportion of irrigated land in Australia under surface irrigation in the last two decades and a decrease from 30 to 19% in the proportion of agricultural establishments using the system between 2002 and 2009. This trend has been corroborated by data obtained from US irrigation surveys. On the other hand, the surface system has experienced improvements ranging from upgrades of physical irrigation infrastructure and hardware to advanced management practices including computer simulation modelling. There are also emerging concepts and on-going research in surface systems that have the possibility to confer significant benefits to the users of these systems. Conversion of the irrigated land from surface to pressurised systems and the decline of the proportion of the irrigators using the system is expected to continue into the future. However the surface system will nonetheless remain important. Selected crops such as rice require to be grown using surface methods. There is also a chance that the rising energy costs might curtail the adoption of pressurised systems.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2012 05:47
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 00:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: irrigation statistics; surface irrigation methods; improvements
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070199 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management not elsewhere classified
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079901 Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc.)
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090509 Water Resources Engineering
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960999 Land and Water Management of Environments not elsewhere classified

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