Current NPSI Research Projects

Managing soil salinity for wine quality in groundwater-irrigated vineyards

This project, using the Padthaway district as a case study will produce strategies to adapt (with time) the crop production system to the prevailing soil & climatic conditions, groundwater flow & quality regime and irrigation technology to achieve premium wines that continue to meet world food health standards and hence ensure export growth.

  • Project
  • National Program for Sustainable Irrigation
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Optimising delivery and benefits of aerated irrigation water

We have shown in a number of annual crops that by simply creating air bubbles in drip irrigation systems we can significantly increase crop yield and quality, overcoming root oxygen starvation caused by irrigation. We will trial this practice [we call it oxygation] on perennial species in growers’ fields firstly in Queensland, and then halfway through the project in NSW and SA, to improve yield and yield per unit of water use.
(more)…

  • Project
  • National Program for Sustainable Irrigation
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Quantifying surface water - groundwater exchange using thermal & chemical measurements

This project will develop field equipment and a proven scientific methodology that will quantify surface water - groundwater transfer to aquifers beneath river beds and therefore contribute to the mapping of the many and complex connections and interactions between groundwater and the surface water - dams, lakes, rivers, wetlands.

  • Project
  • National Program for Sustainable Irrigation
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Remote sensing data and crop water measurements

Investigation of the relationships between remote sensing data recorded in satellite imagery and a comprehensive set of crop water measurements (taken in a vineyard and an almond orchard) was the project chosen by Flinders University of SA student Claire Williams.

  • Project
  • National Program for Sustainable Irrigation
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Review of Precision Irrigation Technologies and their Application

Despite the widespread promotion and adoption of precision agriculture in dry land cropping systems, the concept of irrigation as a component of precision agricultural systems has not been widely canvassed. Irrigation application is commonly viewed as a less than precise activity and the potential for precision irrigation is yet to be adequately evaluated. This project will review irrigation research, existing technologies and the use of precision irrigation. It will include an assessment of the role of (more)…

  • Project
  • National Program for Sustainable Irrigation
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Root Zone Water, Salinity and Nutrient Management Under Precision Irrigation

The SRD8 project has an ongoing commitment to the development of salinity risk management strategies and tools designed to limit the damaging effects of salinity in the root zone, a fact that is most clearly represented by the establishment of 20 trial sites distributed through a range of growing conditions in SA, NSW and VIC.
(more)…

  • Project
  • National Program for Sustainable Irrigation
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Soil Management for Australian Irrigated Agriculture

Australian soil structure deteriorates rapidly under irrigation with current management practices, resulting in inefficient water use and low yields. These soils lack the mineral montmorillonite present in those overseas soils which maintain porosity and stability under irrigation. This (more)…

  • Project
  • National Program for Sustainable Irrigation
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The effect of changing irrigation strategies on biodiversity

The irrigation industry is facing substantial change that is likely to affect the quantity and timing of water supply, as well as the infrastructure involved in water delivery and use.
Managing these changes without further compromising environmental sustainability requires knowledge of how irrigation practices effect local and regional biodiversity, and the implications for biodiversity persistence of possible changes in policies, district water management and farming methods. This project (more)…

  • Project
  • National Program for Sustainable Irrigation
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Water Smart Cotton and Grains in NSW

Irrigators want to improve WUE in terms of bales per ML or tonnes per ML, with the intention to maximise their profitability or $/ML. An important step to achieving this is through the adoption of irrigation management best practices. Consultants will be mentored to increase their knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver a range of irrigation services. Irrigation training, farm (more)…

  • Project
  • National Program for Sustainable Irrigation
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