Irrigation is beneficial to agriculture, to the economy and to our communities. To maximise the benefits of irrigation, water application must be made correctly, with an understanding of what is taking place. Good irrigation system performance and good management of those systems are fundamental to efficient use of a strictly limited resource.
Low irrigation efficiency has negative impacts on farm profitability, economic prosperity and the environment. Poorly performing (non-uniform) irrigation systems and poor scheduling have been identified as the major causes of low efficiency and subsequent waste of water and energy.
Evaluating irrigation systems and their management is a way to demonstrate a responsible attitude towards land and water resources, to show that practices match or exceed accepted community values and that maximum potential is being achieved. A system evaluation provides irrigators, regulators and other stakeholders with confidence that findings are valid, repeatable and comparable to industry benchmarks.
Evaluations provide information on actual application rates, determine ‘global’ irrigation system distribution uniformity, identify the causes and relative importance of various factors contributing to non-uniformity, benchmark the performance of the system, and identify causes of poor performance and how these may be addressed.
Irrigators need to know how efficient and effective their systems are and what options are available to improve their performance. The resulting recommendations may involve improving or replacing worn equipment, upgrading of supply services, changes to irrigation scheduling and operation, changes to equipment type or capacity, which will increase the systems overall performance capability.
Regular evaluations allow for comparison to highlight characteristics which can avoid downtime and declining efficiency values.
Evaluations are carried out according to the Code of Practise for Irrigation Evaluation, by specifically trained staff who utilise the recommended IRRIG8™ Software for reporting back to the owner.