Action in the delivery system
National Program for Sustainable Irrigation partner Goulburn-Murray Water is making a major contribution to the evaluation of thin films, or monolayers, which can spread over water surfaces to reduce evaporation.
These include commercially available products as well as improved formulations. Testing them in channels has brought in the challenges of water flow, churning at regulators and wind in the exposed flat country traversed by open channels.
Other options considered by Goulburn-Murray Water for reducing evaporation have been complete enclosure of the main water arteries by piping which would come at a major cost, narrowing of the channels to reduce the surface area, and use of shade cloths which have claims of 80% evaporation reduction.
Complete enclosure of main water channels is now well underway by Sunraysia-based Lower Murray Water (see picture showing construction at Merbein). See the news story High value production is the future.