The role of information communications technology in sustainable water management practice
The availability of water is a global issue which is predicted to become more pronounced in the future. As a large and relatively dry continent, Australia is presented with a series of challenges within the agriculture sector. As a result, the adoption of appropriate, efficient and effective irrigation systems is an important element for future sustainability. In various Australian growing regions, different modes and types of irrigation are utilised. However, in many cases, the preferred system has been selected based on tradition and local norms rather than on the basis of effective water management. Consequently, there is a socio-psychological element in the adoption of new or alternative systems. This study reports on a project that identifies how the introduction of technology within a variety of irrigation system types has improved water efficiency, reduced wastage and improved product adoption. In particular, the study discusses how technology has improved the use of flood and micro irrigation systems as well as more recent developments in satellite assisted irrigation. The findings of the study suggest that the enhancement of existing irrigation systems through the addition of information communications technology can overcome some traditional barriers by adding specific features that are attractive to growers.