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Historical document

Improving urban irrigation practice in Sydne (HG06015)

Key research provider: Irrigation Australia Ltd
Publication date: July, 2009

This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.

What was it all about?

The ultimate intent of the project was that the community, including domestic gardeners, open space managers and policy makers would gain a better appreciation of best practice irrigation, so that they would continue to have confidence in gardening and urban landscapes throughout the drought. To achieve this, the project aimed to assist people managing domestic and open space urban irrigation systems in Sydney to operate the systems efficiently, to make water savings and to more closely monitor irrigation water use. The project targeted the three essential markets for improving water conservation in urban irrigation, namely:

  • The public to understand best practice garden watering behaviour
  • Local government as large water users for open space and green space
  • Industry to provide professional levels of advice and service for best practice irrigation to both the public and to local government.

The project involved, amongst other things:

  • Public seminars on good garden watering practice, presented by irrigation industry experts at nurseries and garden clubs across the Sydney metropolitan area
  • Running Irrigation Audit/Efficiency courses for open space managers across Sydney, targeting local government participants
  • Establishing a Certified Irrigation Professionals scheme to recognise industry competency and expertise
  • Working with state government agencies and water authorities seeking for this certification framework to be embedded in a more sophisticated outdoor urban water conservation policy framework.

This project was the first time a coordinated and whole of market approach had been taken to urban irrigation water conservation and:

  • Enabled 23 public seminars with over 890 participants, with seminar evaluation revealing that over 55 per cent would change the way their garden watering system operates as a result of the seminar
  • Supported 6 Irrigation Efficiency courses were held with 81 participants from local government, open space managers, policy makers and water and irrigation consultancies with post course evaluation showing that most participants had an improved awareness of the requirements for more efficient irrigation
  • Assisted in the substantial work required to establish a Certified Irrigation Professionals scheme, with 86 people now holding Certifications in NSW – and growing
  • Helped IAL to work with governments to examine alternative approaches to water restrictions, to benefit the urban community lifestyles and the horticultural sector.