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National Irrigation Research NPIRD / NPSI Steve Mills and Brett Tucker.

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Presentation on theme: "National Irrigation Research NPIRD / NPSI Steve Mills and Brett Tucker."— Presentation transcript:

1 National Irrigation Research NPIRD / NPSI Steve Mills and Brett Tucker

2 Nick Schofield Don Yule Anwen Lovett Col Creighton Warwick Watkins Mike Logan Brett Tucker Steve Mills David Dore Nick Schofield Nick Austin Jason Alexandra Richard Stirzaker Christine Forster Murray and Liz Chapman Guy Roth Charles Wilcox Ian Prosser Bobbie Brazil

3 Broader national legacies of NPIRD and NPSI On-ground legacies – reflections from a dairy farmer Next generation of issues Overview

4 Title Here Text Here Northern Victoria Production (moving annual total by month) 1997-2008 – millions of litres

5 Elevating irrigation research beyond “commodities” Stronger emphasis on collaboration and networks – high “gearing” for LWA investment Helped focus on irrigation as an industry not just an input. Enabled consideration of generic issues. Key achievements

6 Foundations for future policy and research Precursor to national industry statistics (ANCID benchmarking). Precursor to National Metering Standards (“Know the flow”) Precursor to CRC Irrigation Futures Precursor to system modernisation (seepage evaluation ) Infiltration of expertise – fellows, coordinators, farmers Long gestation periods!!! (impacts on evaluation) Key achievements

7 Application on ground Adoption is not an issue for good research - good research walks out the door! Key research issues included Water Use Efficiency (farm, system), adoption, Trade, groundwater relationships, WQ. PRD, Full stop, Aquacaps, irrigation insights, irrigation futures Key achievements




11 Dairy – 500litres/ML water …………….Now 5000litres/ML water Rice systems – 3ML/tonne……………Now 0.7 ML/tonne Cotton – 1 bale / ML…………………now 2 bales / ML Productivity Story



14 Coming to grips with the water, energy, carbon nexus Cannot divorce decisions on water from decisions on energy and carbon. 1 litre = 1kg water ……………1 ML = 1000 tonnes GMW shifted 1.25 billion tonnes pa. in recent (drought) history. Energy = about 70c / metre / ML – do the maths!! Sustainable systems – efficient gravity irrigation has a place! Current research questions

15 Orderly asset rationalisation Traditional planning approaches fail under extreme uncertainty and rapid change Plan flexibility important, overcoming corporate and community inertia is the key but do we really want the “disposable irrigation system” Current research questions

16 Swiss Cheese

17 Starsky and Hutch – who wants to play Starsky? Who is able to play the bad cop as we withdraw from past investment? Are our current governance models up to the challenge of major landscape change? Current research questions

18 Community resilience Our withdrawal from irrigation communities is a greater challenge than our development We need to understand community tipping points Current research questions

19 Closing the hydrologic water balance Understanding groundwater connectivity Understanding return flows In-situ measurement – achieving the new national standards Current research questions

20 What will provide the next quantum shift in farm productivity ? Climate change threatens substantial tracts of the grain belt Viable irrigation communities will become more crucial Irrigation region survival will hinge on achieving more with substantially less Current research questions

21 Individual rights versus collective responsibilities Can we rely solely on markets to solve all problems? Current research questions

22 Click to edit Master subtitle style The Individual & the Collective

23 Irrigation research has always struggled to find it’s space LWRRDC/LWA placed irrigation R&D on the agenda and pioneered partnerships to maximise leverage and support The R&D needs for irrigation have not evaporated….there is still much to be done. Challenge in water will always be research investment to inform policy instead of undertaking body counts. Legacy issues

24 Click to edit Master subtitle style An invitation from Sydney 8 -10 June 2010

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