Farm Water Futures (FWF)

Current Overview

The aim of the Farm Water Futures program (FWF) was to assist irrigators to reduce water and energy consumption through grower engagement, resulting in a reduction in overall water use and carbon footprint in the key irrigation industries. The Queensland cut flower and foliage sector is one such industry, with water a vital component of its production operations. Growers were targeted through workshops and on-farm irrigation and pump assessments, and the result was a significant improvement in water use and energy use efficiency and an improvement in grower engagement and awareness in relation to irrigation management.

The floriculture production businesses in Queensland rely on irrigation to maintain their operations, in the form of field grown, hydroponic or container production. Therefore, with irrigation as such a significant element of the industry, it is essential that enterprises embrace modern irrigation technologies and adopt efficient practices that will ensure the industry’s sustainability into the future.

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Project Activities

In the previous projects, research and extension activities provided extensive knowledge of the operations, production systems and irrigation systems of flower and foliage producers in Queensland. In the current project, this knowledge will be used to implement on-the-ground changes to a number of case study farms located around Queensland. These growers have been identified as operating significantly above industry benchmarks in kWh/ML/m. By targeting crop production systems with high water and energy requirements that are not currently meeting industry benchmarks, the project will have maximum impact on water and energy savings in the region. In addition to the wide scope for improvement on these farms, positive outcomes on case study farms will be used to facilitate water and energy savings across the industry through extension materials and demonstration activities.

Media & Communications

Technical Reports

The case study farms will be closely monitored and a range of extension materials produced on the progress at each farm. As changes are implemented, improvements to water and energy efficiency will be documented, along with changes to management practices and the productivity of the farm. In collaboration with industry suppliers, the changes that are implemented on case study farms will also undergo a cost analysis, giving growers the return on investment for each system improvement.

The case study farm profiles will be regularly updated through industry publications, newsletters, social media and on industry websites. The process will also be captured in short video presentations that highlight simple and practical solutions and deliver technical information to growers on improving their water and energy efficiency. These videos will be available online and shown on field days held at the case study farms. By holding open days on these demonstration farms, growers will have the opportunity to see the improvements first hand. This will also facilitate collaboration between retail suppliers and irrigation system design consultants, who can help other growers to take the next step in implementing changes that have been recommended in previous projects.

Project Duration

Start date (01/07/2018)
End date (30/06/2019)

Related Information

Project Officer:  Shane Holborn eo@flowersaustraia.org