Trends in the use of surface irrigation in Australian irrigated agriculture

Koech, R. and Smith, R. and Gillies, M. (2015) Trends in the use of surface irrigation in Australian irrigated agriculture. Water - Journal of the Australian Water Association , 42 (5). pp. 84-92. ISSN 0310-0367

Abstract

Surface irrigation methods are simple, mostly gravity driven and therefore have low 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 by some to be more water efficient. This is reflected in the decline of 15% of the proportion of irrigated land in Australia under surface irrigation in the last two decades; however, the proportion of agricultural establishments using the system has remained relatively unchanged since 2002 except during the drought period when there was a reduction. In the US there has been a reduction in both the acreage under surface systems and the agricultural establishments using the system. On the other hand, surface irrigation has experienced improvements ranging from upgrades of physical irrigation infrastructure and hardware to advanced management practices including computer simulation modelling and real time optimisation and control. Conversion of irrigated land from surface to pressurised systems might continue into the future but probably at a decreasing rate. However surface systems will nonetheless remain important. There is also the strong possibility that rising energy costs will curtail the adoption of pressurised systems.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2016 00:52
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2017 04:53
Uncontrolled Keywords: Furrow irrigation, bay irrigation, automation, irrigation statistics
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0999 Other Engineering > 099901 Agricultural Engineering
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079901 Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc.)
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 83 Animal Production and Animal Primary Products > 8304 Pasture, Browse and Fodder Crops > 830402 Lucerne
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8203 Industrial Crops > 820304 Sugar
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8202 Horticultural Crops > 820212 Table Grapes
B Economic Development > 83 Animal Production and Animal Primary Products > 8304 Pasture, Browse and Fodder Crops > 830406 Sown Pastures (excl. Lucerne)
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8202 Horticultural Crops > 820210 Pome Fruit, Pip Fruit
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8203 Industrial Crops > 820301 Cotton
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8204 Summer Grains and Oilseeds > 820402 Rice
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8204 Summer Grains and Oilseeds > 820404 Sorghum
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8204 Summer Grains and Oilseeds > 820401 Maize
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8203 Industrial Crops > 820306 Wine Grapes
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8202 Horticultural Crops > 820215 Vegetables
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8202 Horticultural Crops > 820203 Citrus Fruit
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8204 Summer Grains and Oilseeds > 820499 Summer Grains and Oilseeds not elsewhere classified
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8202 Horticultural Crops > 820214 Tropical Fruit
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/27610

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