Water accounting trial to start soon
The first trial to account for water consumption on pastoral properties will soon begin at Todmorden Station in the State’s Far North.
The trial has been designed to understand stock-per-capita consumption of water using Poll Hereford and Angus cattle. The property’s focus will be on four watering points in three paddocks, with photopoint monitoring established on each of the watering points.
It is the first of six projects to begin across the region, which will seek to understand more about water consumption by sheep and cattle. Each of the projects will work with pastoralists to identify suitable water accounting methods applicable to their property and requirements.
At Todmorden, the first paddock was fitted with Farmbot remote water monitoring technology in November, which will use water telemetry to allow real time access to water point data.
SAAL Water Project Officer Glenn Del Fierro said the project had been designed in collaboration with Thinkwater Adelaide and Department for Environment and Water staff, who will also be involved in the selection of suitable meter options.
The Todmorden project will run for at least a year.
The Accounting for Groundwater Take in the Far North Prescribed Wells Area project was developed in response to community concern, raised during consultation on the Water Allocation Plan, about the potential impact of water metering on pastoral businesses in the Far North.
It was established to investigate and trial metering, measuring and accounting options that may be suitable for the region and can be used to support development of a water accounting implementation plan. The trials will evaluate proposed accounting methods against key criteria of reliability, practicality, cost and accuracy.
The field trial plans for the remaining five projects are under development with all trials expected to begin before June 2024.