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Irrigation

Analysis and Comment (12)

Right idea, wrong execution: the Ord River irrigation scheme needed better surrounding infrastructure. Right idea, wrong execution: the Ord River irrigation scheme needed better surrounding infrastructure. isthatdave/Wikimedia Commons

To grow agriculture in Australia, farmers need to think like miners

It’s perhaps fitting that mining magnate Andrew Forrest is in the vanguard of a move to position Australia as a major food supplier to China. Fitting, because if the plan is to work, Australian agriculture…
Selling water back to farmers could work out for the Murray River too. Selling water back to farmers could work out for the Murray River too. Flickr/Tourism.Victoria

Murray River water sales: better for farmers and the environment

The Commonwealth Government’s decision to sell up to 10 billion litres of its water allocation in the Murray-Darling Basin back to farmers could prove to be a win-win for irrigators and the river. On the…
Instead of developing a northern foodbowl to feed our neighbours, Australia could help them feed themselves. Instead of developing a northern foodbowl to feed our neighbours, Australia could help them feed themselves. Neils Photography/Flickr

Australia should help East Timor feed itself

A nation that destroys its soils, destroys itself — Franklin Roosevelt It is a worthy objective to sell more food to Asia, but we should not conflate pursuing export income with improving regional food…
After centuries of war, Japan’s well-attuned environmental practices spurred rapid growth. After centuries of war, Japan’s well-attuned environmental practices spurred rapid growth. mharrsch/Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Lessons from Edo Japan can help Fukushima recover

After two and a half years, the embattled Japanese government and Tepco, the company responsible for the Fukushima nuclear power plant, have sought the world’s assistance in tackling the three damaged…
Grown on water saving soils… Grown on water saving soils… TXMagpie/Flickr

The good earth: Jasmine rice and Leeton Red Sodosol

Australia has some of the world’s most ancient soils, many of which grow delicious produce. In this series, “The good earth”, soil scientist Robert Edis profiles some of those soils and the flavours they…
Science suggests poor soils, water availability and harsh climatic conditions should dull visions for a northern Australia food bowl. Science suggests poor soils, water availability and harsh climatic conditions should dull visions for a northern Australia food bowl. Wakx/Flickr

The only way is up? The northern Australian food bowl fantasy

With the recently leaked discussion paper by the Coalition reigniting old passions for a northern irrigated food bowl, Australia must again contemplate its vision for the north. Is this our chance to learn…
With so many vested interests, opposition to the plan will likely last a long time yet. With so many vested interests, opposition to the plan will likely last a long time yet. SA Eco Images Pty Ltd

Resisting the Murray-Darling Basin Plan – in whose interest?

As the final version of the Murray-Darling Plan heads to Parliament there seems little doubt that the debate will continue. The sticking point remains the volume of water to be returned to the environment…
Time to get our eyes back on the prize: the pragmatic, results-focused, multi-sector research effort of recent decades has stalled. Time to get our eyes back on the prize: the pragmatic, results-focused, multi-sector research effort of recent decades has stalled.

Part two: running dry - the worrying repercussions of running down irrigation research

Welcome to Part Two of Professor Andrew Campbell’s special report on the troubling plight of irrigation research and development in Australia. In part one, Professor Campbell argued that despite an unprecedented…
Efficient water use is ever more important, yet budgets for vital irrigation R&D are declining. Efficient water use is ever more important, yet budgets for vital irrigation R&D are declining. A. Campbell

Part One: Irrigation R&D drying up - a looming weakness for Australia

Welcome to a two-part special on the troubling plight of irrigation R&D, by Professor Andrew Campbell of Charles Darwin University. Research into the smartest, most efficient and sustainable ways to…
Liquid politics: fights over water will heat up unless its management is democratised. Liquid politics: fights over water will heat up unless its management is democratised. Flickr/Kyle Horner

Challenge 2: Water; a local resource, a global problem

Welcome to the State of the Future series. This series addresses 15 global challenges posed by the Millennium Project, an international non-profit think-tank collecting responses for 40 nodes worldwide…
Understandably, farmers get worried when they think their water is under threat. Understandably, farmers get worried when they think their water is under threat. Phil Schubert

CSG conflict – we know what we don’t know, let’s do something about it

There are many good reasons why the general public, and in particular farmers, are concerned about coal seam gas (CSG) extraction. There are major gaps in our knowledge about the future impacts of CSG…

Research Briefs (3)

Coastal aquifers at risk

A study of 1,400 coastal aquifers in North America finds that most coastal aquifers are relatively unaffected by rising sea…