Project investigates water monitoring
New technologies in the water point metering and monitoring space are replacing a process that was often completed by labour-intensive and costly water runs.
These visual inspections did not provide a comprehensive understanding of water use or provide security around water point availability between visits.
To investigate options in the use of technology around water management, the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board engaged Ecological Australia to obtain feedback on water management options available in regional and remote areas.
The work was undertaken as part of the Assessment of Metering and Monitoring Options for Pastoral Water Points project, which was delivered by the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board through funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.
The investigations included workshops with the Water Accounting Advisory Group assisting the Water Accounting project and revealed a very innovative group of landholders able to provide important insight into water point management.
Group members were aware of, and in many cases were using remote water monitoring technologies. The report shares their experiences and provides a range of water-smart technologies; recommendations for project concepts to trial these technologies and a cost-benefit analysis based on real-world scenarios.
Key considerations when selecting remote water sensing technologies include sensor type, power source, connectivity, and end-user interface. It is also important to consider the upfront and ongoing costs of each water sensing technology. You will find a guide on each of these variables and advice for selection and implementation in a report that is available on our website.
“To provide a real-life analysis that is relevant to the southern rangelands pastoral zone, a cost-benefit analysis was carried out on two properties with unique use cases,” water resource officer Glenn Del Fierro said.
“Both properties were about to recoup their outlay costs within the first two to three years by reducing the number of water runs required.
“There were significant savings from reduced labour and vehicle costs and in addition, savings were also made in relation to carbon emissions.“
Mr del Fierro said the landholders involved in this project also highlighted the non-monetary benefits of water technologies, including time management, ability to complete other tasks, timely resolution of issues and peace of mind.