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The Hawkesbury Nepean River Recovery Program is funded by the Australian Government through the Water for the Future Program. Supplementary funding for.

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Presentation on theme: "The Hawkesbury Nepean River Recovery Program is funded by the Australian Government through the Water for the Future Program. Supplementary funding for."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Hawkesbury Nepean River Recovery Program is funded by the Australian Government through the Water for the Future Program. Supplementary funding for the WaterSmart Farms project has been provided by the NSW Government through its Climate Change Fund. ‘Smart Farms’ Projects Hawkesbury River at Wisemans Ferry

2 Acronyms..... GISGeographic Information System GLGigalitre HNHawkesbury Nepean HN CMAHawkesbury Nepean Catchment Management Authority HNRRPHawkesbury Nepean River Recovery Program I&I NSWIndustry & Investment NSW MLMegalitre NSFNutrientSmart Farms (project) WSFWaterSmart Farms (project)

3 The Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment 2.2 million hectares 470km River system from Goulburn to Palm Beach Includes major tributaries: –Wollondilly; Wingecarribee; Coxs; Grose; Colo; Macdonald Provides –drinking water for 70% of NSW population –housing for a rapidly growing regional population –80% of the sand & gravel for Sydney's construction industry Supports –$1 billion / year agricultural industry –$6 million / year commercial seafood industry –tourism industry with 10 million visitors / year

4 A Catchment Under Stress Urban development Contaminated runoff Water extraction (reduced flows) Invasive plants & animals (eg- carp & riparian weeds) Outbreaks of aquatic weeds & algae Bank erosion Extractive industries Barriers to fish passage / migration Hawkesbury River aquatic weeds, Nov 08 Photo: Rebecca Coventry

5 The Solution ‘Hawkesbury Nepean River Recovery Program’ (HNRRP) $77 million provided by Australian Govt in 2008 Asked for a suite of projects that achieved: –nutrient reductions –increased environmental flows Kemps Creek

6 HNRRP Background Relevant agencies submitted project ideas –DPI (> I&I NSW) –DECC (> DECCW) –DWE (> NOW) –Sydney Water –HN CMA –Hawkesbury Council 7 projects chosen to make up package Hawkesbury River aquatic weeds, Nov 08 Photo: Rebecca Coventry

7 Projects of the HNRRP ProjectLeading Organisation 1Improving HN Water Balance AccountingNSW Office of Water 2Irrigation & Landscape Efficiency ProgramSydney Water 3Licence PurchaseDept of Environment, Climate Change & Water 4South Windsor Effluent Reuse SchemeHawkesbury City Council 5Nutrient Export MonitoringDept of Environment, Climate Change & Water 6WaterSmart FarmsIndustry & Investment NSW 7NutrientSmart FarmsIndustry & Investment NSW

8 WaterSmart Farms (WSF) & NutrientSmart Farms (NSF) WSF & NSF will work with any agricultural industry in the project area

9 Agriculture in the HN Over 2,000 agricultural enterprises Mostly small enterprises (compared to other areas in NSW) Extremely diverse range of industries Significant proportion of farmers are from a Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Background (CLDB): –30% across all agricultural industries –80% of vegetable & cut flower growers –Main CLDB groups are: Arabic Cambodian (Khmer) Chinese (Cantonese) Italian Maltese Vietnamese

10 Agriculture in the HN (cont’d)

11 Agriculture in the HN

12 Agriculture in the HN (cont’d) Future local issues: Metropolitan Water Sharing Plan Climate change & variability of water supply Increased costs Urban development Source: Malcolm & Fahd, 2009

13 Agriculture in the HN (cont’d) Reasons for Smart Farms project Significant user of water –river water: 96 GL licensed for agricultural use (over 38,000 olympic swimming pools) –town water: over 5 GL used for agriculture Significant exporter of nutrients –over 2,000,000 kg nitrogen / year –over 200,000 kg phosphorus / year

14 WaterSmart Farms Primary objective: Deliver water savings through improved irrigation efficiency Secondary objective: Improve nutrient management and reduce export to waterways

15 WaterSmart Farms Milestones / targets Distribute $13 million in grants Achieve water savings of 5.9 GL water / year Reductions in nutrient export of: –11.8 tonnes nitrogen / year –1.2 tonnes phosphorus / year 8 field days 100 training activities

16 WaterSmart Farms 90% HN irrigated farms have poor water use efficiency Current irrigation practices include: –uneven watering.....requires overwatering –application rates higher than soil infiltration rate.....results in runoff Implications for farmer: –uneven crop growth –fertiliser / soil loss (from runoff) –increased water costs (town water irrigators) –hence reduced profitability

17 WaterSmart Farms What is the project doing? Grants for irrigation infrastructure upgrades Education & training SMS Irrigation Scheduling Service Demonstration farm

18 WaterSmart Farms Grants available for: Retrofit or upgrade existing irrigation systems –replace sprinkler heads –replace pumps –replace pipes Convert irrigation systems –overhead to drip –travellers to lateral move –travellers to pop-ups Install water harvesting infrastructure –Rainwater tanks –Tailwater dams Irrigation scheduling equipment Soil moisture sensor

19 WaterSmart Farms Grants – what is offered Free independent irrigation system audit –Irrigator, property & enterprise details –Farmer aspirations –Soil profile description –Water source & quality –Irrigation system type & performance (Distribution Uniformity etc) –Pump type and performance –Drainage & recycling –Management of irrigation system –Recommendations for improvement Measuring Distribution Uniformity

20 WaterSmart Farms Grants – what is offered (cont’d) Town water irrigator –Up to 50% subsidy for cost of project –$1,750 / ML saved River water irrigator –Up to 80% subsidy for cost of project –$3,000 / ML saved –Surrender 75% of identified water savings from licence entitlement

21 WaterSmart Farms Education & training Project-specific workshops Existing training courses Field days Demonstration farm Bi-lingual support (Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese)

22 WaterSmart Farms SMS Irrigation Scheduling Service Irrigation scheduling = matching irrigation to the needs of the crop Technology developed by CSIRO Uses information from satellites, weather stations and rain gauges to determine crop water requirements Farmers receive irrigation scheduling advice via SMS

23 WaterSmart Farms Demonstration Farm At I&I NSW Richmond (UWS Campus) Showcase best practice nutrient & water management in vegetable & turf production

24 WaterSmart Farms Case Study – Large Field Vegetable Farm Background / current situation –30 hectares of lettuce, brassicas & cucumbers –330 ML river water licence –Majority of irrigation infrastructure is 25 years old –Handshift sprinklers with large labour demand –Inefficient pump with large energy requirement –Unable to target irrigation (water to laneways etc) –Distribution uniformity of 52% - forced to irrigate almost constantly Old diesel pump

25 WaterSmart Farms Case Study – Large Field Vegetable Farm (cont’d) New works will: –Replace existing system with a mixture of automated fixed sprinklers and drip irrigation (DU >85%) –Variable speed pump to match the different irrigation systems –Electric pump controllers with remote (mobile phone) start / stop –Greater flexibility in irrigation Only irrigate under optimal conditions Accurately tailor irrigation to small blocks / crop needs –Maintain production levels with improved crop quality using less water –100 ML licence entitlement surrender (133 ML / year water saving) –Total project cost - $391,959 $300,000 WSF grant $91,959 irrigator contribution ($9,359 cash & $82,600 labour / maintenance)

26 NutrientSmart Farms Objective Improve nutrient management and reduce export to waterways Milestones / targets Distribute $2.9 million in grants Reductions in nutrient export of: –27 tonnes nitrogen / year –6 tonnes phosphorus / year 150 on-farm nutrient management projects 500 soil / plant tissue / water tests undertaken 12 field days & 750 landholders engaged in education / training Hawkesbury River aquatic weeds, Nov 08 Photo: Rebecca Coventry

27 NutrientSmart Farms Current nutrient management practices include: –Inadequate groundcover leading to erosion –nutrient rich runoff (irrigation & natural) not filtered or captured –animal excretion in / near waterways –over-use of fertilisers (horticulture) Implications for farmer: –loss of valuable fertiliser / soil –algal / weed problems in dams –hence reduced profitability Water Hyacinth choking a detention pond Photo: Carolyn Jenkinson

28 NutrientSmart Farms What is the project doing? Grants for on-farm nutrient mgt works Education & training Compost program Greenwaste being composted in windrows

29 NutrientSmart Farms Grants available for: perimeter re-vegetation / buffer zones / filter strips stock exclusion fences / off-stream watering detention ponds erosion control / filter strips pasture re-establishment livestock effluent management Gully erosion due to lack of groundcover

30 NutrientSmart Farms Grants – what is offered: Assistance with developing the project 50% subsidy towards the cost of the project Cattle off-stream watering point Natural re-vegetation of casurinas after installation of stock exclusion fencing

31 NutrientSmart Farms How nutrient export reductions are estimated Literature Review –Nutrient export rates for each industry (kg / ha) –Nutrient export reductions for each intervention (%) –Site specific factors applied Accurate measurements (eg- soil tests) and farmer knowledge used where possible GIS mapping to accurately measure properties and interventions

32 NutrientSmart Farms Education & training Project-specific workshops Existing training courses Field days Demonstration farm Bi-lingual support (Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese) Cambodian vegetable farmers at a field day

33 NutrientSmart Farms Compost Program Provided tonnes of free compost to a range of industries This was applied to 250 ha on 62 farms Approx. 80 tonnes / hectare Why? –Improve soil moisture holding capacity –Improve soil structure –Increase soil carbon –Provide appropriate mix of nutrients –Reduce reliance on traditional fertilisers Developed specifications to ensure quality Aim was to encourage use over long-term & improve compost supply Research ongoing Piles of compost ready to be incorporated

34 NutrientSmart Farms Case study – Dairy Farm Background / current situation –100 milkers –Dairy yard waste (effluent) is collected & pumped a short distance –Effluent is concentrated in one area & soil is saturated with nutrients –No wet weather effluent storage capacity –Runoff results in nutrient export to waterways –Valuable nutrients are lost Dairy effluent solids trap

35 NutrientSmart Farms Case study – Dairy Farm (cont’d) New works have: –Upgraded dairy yards so effluent can be easily captured –Installed an effluent solids trap –Upgraded effluent pump and piping to transfer effluent –Installed an effluent irrigator system to distribute effluent across 5 hectares of pasture and avoid overloading –Reduced export of an estimated 1,700 kg nitrogen & 280 kg of phosphorus annually –Enabled reuse of an estimated 1.6 ML effluent water annually –Total project cost $84,100 $41,700 grant $42,400 farmer contribution ($5,300 cash & $37,100 labour / maintenance) Effluent irrigator

36 Grant Administration Process for grant administration is extremely important –Spending $15 million of the public’s money Need transparent process to ensure grants: –are distributed fairly and equitably –achieve good value for money Expenditure is independently audited

37 Grant Administration Process for obtaining grants: 1.Read funding guidelines & check eligibility 2.Submit Expression of Interest and arrange farm visit 3.Design your project NSF – design with Smart Farms officer WSF – water audit undertaken & farmer nominates project 4.Project is then considered against selection criteria 5.If approved, Works Agreement (contract) with HN CMA 6.Funds delivered, undertake works & submit final report

38 Grant Administration Selection Criteria Common (WSF & NSF) selection criteria: –Technical feasibility of the project –Project sustainability –Applicant's resources (capacity & skills) & commitment –Project focus Specific WaterSmart Farms selection criteria: –Water savings (ML per hectare) –Cost ($) per megalitre water saved Specific NutrientSmart Farms selection criteria: –Connectivity to significant waterway –Cost ($) per kilogram of nutrient export reduction

39 Grant Administration Works Agreement ‘Contract’ for the works to be funded It will detail: –an outline of the project –the people involved in the project –The landholder’s responsibilities for the project, such as: what works are to be undertaken completion dates maintenance requirements payment schedule Landholder invoices CMA for payments Generally have 12 months to complete projects All projects need to be completed by June 2011 Works Agreement generally for 10 years


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