Success is knowing what’s in your water account!

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Success is knowing what’s in your water account!

Jul 17, 2023

Goanna Ag, Cotton Seed Distributors (CSD), and the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) partnered to support the Australian Cotton Irrigation Enterprises with the creation of the Water Dashboard: like an online bank account, so growers can quickly and accurately see how much they have at any given time.

The Water Dashboard will be an online tool that enables individual farms or enterprises to make informed decisions regarding their overall water account in real time.

CSD’s Commercial Research Manager, Dr Michael Bange, said the aim of the dashboard is to understand the amount of water available to growers so they can best utilise it.

“Until now, it’s been hard for growers to gain an accurate picture without relying on estimated or sometimes inaccurate figures, making it very difficult to make management decisions,” explained Dr Bange.

“Being able to monitor a water account in real time will be a game changing tool when it comes to implementing best management and efficient practices”.

The data in the dashboard will come from government information resources on a grower’s water account, in addition to sensors recording on-farm storage dam, bore and channel levels. Water that is present in the soil in fields will also be taken into account.

Goanna Ag is leading the project and is working closely with the growers trialling the technology. John Pattinson, Chief Development Officer with Goanna Ag is excited about how it will equip growers in the future.

“It will be an easy-to-understand tool that shows how full the system is, much like a fuel tank or accessing the online balance in your bank account.”

The dashboard is designed to help growers and irrigation managers keep track of their water resources, for simplified management and reporting. It will give a snapshot of total water available at any point in time. The dashboard will assist in planning, estimating future water availability, help to generate reports and estimate efficiency.

John Pattison said, “Already our work with growers we have identified additional potential uses of the dashboard, like the concept of ‘origin of water’. Put simply one can track where water has come from on the farm and understand where it moves across the farm before it is used to irrigate a crop.

The Water Dashboard will be tested and evaluated for ongoing development with intent to have a broader release for the 2024/25 season. It will initially be trialled using Goanna Ag sensor technology, but the final product will be able to use data from any sensor brand.

CRDC’s General Manager, Innovation, Allan Williams says that the Water Dashboard closely aligns with one of the aims of CRDC’s new Strategic RD&E Plan, Clever Cotton: to improve productivity, profitability, and sustainability by accurately monitoring and measuring every field on every cotton farm.

“The Water Dashboard is a great example of the benefit of this: turning raw data into real, tangible, beneficial decision-making information for growers,” Allan said.

The Water Dashboard is one of nine projects being run under CSD’s Richard Williams Commercial Research Initiative.