New water monitoring tools

A $500,000 NSW Government program is supporting a new tracking tool used to monitor floodplain flows, as well as tools to detect contaminants in water.

Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair, said that the four projects supported by the program will help to drive better management and monitoring of water in NSW.

“All water users, wherever they are in regional NSW, have an interest in ensuring a fair and transparent regulatory system and we are using technology to ensure that,” Mr Blair said.

“We called for the best technology ideas to support the ‘next generation’ of water monitoring systems and I am confident these projects will deliver.

“These projects will help improve the accuracy of how water movement is monitored, measured and reported, whether by extraction by licence holders or as part of natural flows.

“By adopting innovative technologies like these we can monitor compliance more effectively and continue to look after our most precious resource.”

The four projects include:

  • $150,000 for a University of Sydney project using satellite data to help Government improve estimates of water use on farms. The project will develop a spectral library of crop types, which will allow better identification of crop types from satellite imagery
  • $150,000 for the Australian National University for an online tool to help compliance officers detect water take anomalies. The tool will compare on-farm irrigation to information about the property’s water allocation and reported water use
  • $50,000 for a HydroSpatial project to remotely audit water take by irrigated farms and monitor on-farm storage levels to identify potential anomalies
  • $149,652 for a University of New South Wales project to improve NSW’s existing floodplain structure mapping capabilities to identify and detect changes in floodplain structures and a ‘flow tracking tool’ to monitor floodplain flows in near-real time

The Water Pilot Technology Program was launched in March 2018. Projects are to be completed by 30 June 2019. This program is part of NSW’s best practice water management package under the Water Reform Action Plan.

For more information on the NSW Government’s Water Reform Action Plan visit: https://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/water-reform

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