‘Shelter for our kids’ says Australian farmer
Farmers have been forced to put up with a ‘shelter’ in their fields as a water pressure regulation system has become more prevalent across the country.
Key points:In the past three months, water pressure has risen in about 100% of NSW farms and about 75% of ACT farms, but the regulator says it has been effective in reducing the pressureThe regulator says water pressure is currently lower than it has ever been, but it is a sign of progress that farmers are beginning to notice the water pressure issueThe Australian Farmers’ Federation (AFF) said water pressure was at its highest level in six months in about 99% of farms, while water delivery service (DDS) levels were “near record highs” in more than half the farms.
“This is the kind of drought we are seeing, with water pressures increasing at record levels,” a spokesperson for the AFF said.
“Farmers across the state are responding to the drought with a concerted approach, and they have seen that DDS are now delivering water to farms at record-high levels.”
The Government is committed to ensuring drought-proofing the nation’s water infrastructure.
“While there is still some work to be done, this is a good first step and the farmers have responded well to the advice.”
The Australian Food Standards Agency said the average pressure level was about 1,000 parts per million (ppm), which was still below the average for NSW and Queensland.
It said in NSW the average was about 4,600 ppm, while in Queensland it was around 5,400 ppm.
The ANZASWA said in the last two weeks, DDS levels had risen from about 1.2 million ppm in December to about 3.8 million ppms in the week ending December 23.
“There are now water supply restrictions in place for some farms, which means farmers are required to ensure that their water supply is not affected by these restrictions,” the agency said in a statement.
“These restrictions are currently in place across a wide range of agricultural operations and are being applied across the region.”
It said farmers were “very well aware of the importance of water conservation in this drought”.
“As this drought continues, farmers are looking to conserve water, particularly during this critical time, and this is reflected in the high level of water restrictions being imposed across the NSW sector,” the ANZAsWA said.
Farmers have been asked to install sprinklers, use a water tank or use a self-contained water supply for the past two months.
The Federal Government has been asking farmers to install self-storage tanks to keep their water tanks and equipment dry.
Farmership Association of Australia (FAA) president Dave Wilson said it was good news to see farmers responding to drought concerns.
“It’s great to see the level of concern among farmers that they’re looking after their water, but they also know that water conservation is an important part of their business and the industry is not going to go away,” Mr Wilson said.
Topics:drought,water-supply,environment,agriculture-and-horticulture,water,harbour-2480,sunday-harbour,newcastle-2300,canberra-2600,act,nsw,acta-3154,sydney-2000More stories from New South Wales