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Irrigation is a fundamentally-important industry in Australia...

IWRA World Water Congress 2003 Madrid Spain
IWRA WWC2003 - default topic
Author(s): Andrew F. MCCREA

Andrew F. MCCREA, Bala BALAKUMAR Water and Rivers Commission



Irrigation is a fundamentally-important industry in Australia. Despite being of high value, it places a big demand on the scant potable water resources of one of the driest continents on earth. In Australia, the irrigation industry has grown rapidly in the last decade and escalating growth is expected. However, it faces increasing challenges and must demonstrate sound environmental management including sustainable utilisation of water resources for a healthy survival. As competition for the diminishing supply of unallocated water from other users intensifies, the irrigation industry will receive greater scrutiny in review of any Depending on how irrigation systems are designed and managed, irrigation can have a significant environmental footprint. With unallocated water becoming more limited and the cost of water to end-users increasing, the necessity to demonstrate water use efficiencies for existing and new developments may become a mandatory condition of use. Major change for the industry nationally may not occur without significant triggers. However, in Western Australia (WA) such triggers may already exist. It has been predicted that in WA the greatest demand for more water will be for irrigation development. However, in the South West of WA, the current period of below average rainfall that is expected to intensify over the next 50 years due to climate change/ variability, could have a significant impact on water resources for the irrigation industry...

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